Even if there are many scientific advancements right now, it’s hard to believe that chemotherapy, which has very dangerous side effects and poor efficacy record, is somehow the best treatment option for breast cancer. But for sure, there must be a better way – you might be interested in knowing the health benefits of cat’s claw.
Cat’s claw, also known as Uña de Gato, is a woody vine native to South America. It has been used in Peruvian medicine to treat various ailments. Its inner bark and roots are the ones that have medicinal value.
For many years, the plant has been known for its cancer-healing effects.
Way back in the 1920s, Arturo Brell, a German scientist who had been living and working in the forest of Peru, used cat’s claw to treat his arthritis. He gave some of it to his fellow colonist who was dealing with stage 4 lung cancer. His cancer was gone after drinking a cat’s claw tea three times a day for a year. This inspired researchers to conduct various studies about the healing effects of cat’s claw on conditions that lead to cancer.
The plant’s greatest value in fighting cancer is its anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation can be found in many types of cancer, such as breast cancer. According to studies, almost 15% of all cancers around the world are linked to a type of chronic infection.
The production of the inflammation messenger molecule tumor necrosis factor alpha and the “inflammatory switch” nuclear factor kappa beta can be turned off by cat’s claw. It can directly bring about cancer cell death, a process known as apoptosis. Actually, the precise mechanisms it uses to accomplish this impressive feat have been found by researchers.
Uncaria tomentosa, a type of cat’s claw, has been found to impact nucleotides that form the foundation of cancer cell DNA. In a study conducted by the researchers from Brazil’s Federal University of Santa Maria, results showed that an extract of the plant significantly affected adenine, which is used in the formation of breast cancer cells. This supports a 2006 study showing that some of the alkaloids in cat’s claw could slow the growth of leukemia cells. Results of this study have been published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.
Many Benefits Of Cat’s Claw
Cat’s claw has been found to protect cancer patients undergoing treatment from abnormally low white blood cell counts. Moreover, it can also improve the lives of people suffering from advanced cancer, can treat rheumatoid arthritis and according to lab tests, can possibly treat HIV and AIDS since it can stimulate the activity of certain immune cells.
If you are taking other medications, do some research first if you want to take cat’s claw. Drugs such as immune suppressants, protease inhibitors, and blood thinners can have interactions with the herb.
Also, avoid taking the herb if you are soon to undergo surgery.
Cat’s claw has been associated with side effects like stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and nausea, yet this pales in comparison to the dangers of chemotherapy.