Common names:

Cat’s Claw,  Uncaria tomentosa,  Chuan Xin Lian, Vilcacora.

Traditional uses of Cat’s Claw:

It strengthens and stimulates the immune system. It is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, anti-cancer, anti-depressant, anti-leukemic, antiviral, antithrombotic, anti-diarrheal, dysentery, cleansing blood, detoxicating, generally strengthening, diuretic, cholesterol-lowering, antioxidant and wound-healing. According to Buhner, it is one of the basic herbs used for Lyme disease.

Uses of Cat’s Claw in the treatment of Lyme disease:

  • Cat’s claw is useful in combating Lyme disease in many respects:·       strengthens and stimulates the immune system,
  • has anti-inflammatory effects,
  • is an analgetic,
  • strengthens the central nervous system,
  • is used in cognitive disorders,
  • has a specific anti-inflammatory effect in the treatment of joint and muscular pain in Lyme disease, reduces edema,
  • in case of chronic infection, raises the white blood cell index CD57,
  • is an HLA-DR modulator,
  • modulates the immune system, increasing its strength and if necessary, reducing excessive reactions
  • acts as a general medication strengthening the body,
  • relaxes the central nervous system
  • raises mood.

Cat’s claw is specific in action. It causes the increase in the titer of white blood cells CD57. One of the most beneficial aspects of Lyme disease treatment with the help of Cat’s Claw is that it contributes to the growth of CD57 + cells, which play an important role in proper functioning of the immune system. When Lyme disease spirochetes are present in the body, they specifically inhibit the production of this subgroup of cells in the immune system. Low CD57 is a reliable marker in chronic Lyme disease, especially when antibiotic therapy is not effective. Cat’s claw is particularly recommended in the course of regular relapses, accompanied by weakness and fatigue. This ability to increase the number of CD57 (natural killer) cells in patients with chronic Lyme disease is one of the reasons for good results in chronic or late Lyme disease therapy. The use of Cat’s Claw helps maintain a high level of CD57, which in turn allows suppress the progression of the disease. Buhner recommends the Cat’s claw in his base protocol for Lyme disease.

Side effects:

The doses of 3-4 grams of this herb can sometimes cause intestinal disorders, such as loose stools, diarrhea and / or abdominal pain. These symptoms tend to fade with the long use of herbs. If symptoms occur, the dose should be reduced. If diarrhea lasts longer than three days, the herb should be discontinued.


Cat’s claw cannot be taken by transplant recipients or patients taking immunostimulants. The herb cannot be taken by pregnant women and people taking preparations for lowering blood density. People who have a planned surgery, have to stop taking the herb 10 days earlier. You cannot take Cat’s claw during treatment with drugs that inhibit gastric acid secretion because they can also inhibit the transformation of this herb into an active form.

Cat’s claw cannot be used by pregnant women.



Cat’s claw should not be taken together with gastric acid brokers or Ph antacids because it is suspected that they may inactivate the action of the herb. Do not use herbs along with immunosuppressants, such as cyclosporine. This herb may enhance the effect of Warfarin (Coumadin) and other anticoagulants (blood thinners).

You can buy Cat’s claw here