Although the cat’s claw is one of the most confusing nutritional supplements, it is also one of the most effective. Of the 16 plants in the world named cat’s claw, or “Una de Gato”, Uncaria tomentosa is the plant most frequently sold as cat’s claw supplements.
Although all cat’s claw supplements are made from Uncaria tomentose, some are made from the bark, or stems, while others are made from the leaves. Even though all of these supplements claim to help the immune system, the root of Uncaria tomentosa is the one that actually contains health benefits.
After extensive studying of each part of the plant, scientists have discovered that only the root possesses the power to treat and prevent disease.
However, not all Uncaria tomentosa roots, which are grown in the rainforests of Peru, actually contain healing properties. There are no visible differences in the plants or the roots, but Ashaninka tribal healers, who have used the plant for thousands of years to cure illness, are able to see the good spirits within the plants that contain healing properties.
By using high-performance liquid chromatography, scientists are able to “see” the good spirits too. These good spirits are actually important medicinal compounds called pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POAs). Scientists are also able to “see” the non-healing properties, or tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids (TOAs).
As the POAs have very supportive effects in the immune system, the TOAs have different effects, none of which help the immune system cells at all. If these two compounds are mixed together, which is the case in most cat’s claw plants, the plant is useless to healing and health.
Therefore, cat’s claw supplements that are 100% TOA-free from the root of the Uncaria tomentosa, is the only supplement that provides powerful and helpful effects in the immune system.
One helpful effect provided by the POAs is keeping us healthy by interacting with the disease-fighting cells in our body, the white blood cells. Another effect on our health is helping macrophages, or white blood cells that engulf and digest foreign material, work faster.
A third effect caused by the POAs found in the cat’s claw is the increase in the production of interleukin, which is a chemical protein that is secreted by macrophages that has important immune-enhancing properties. These properties include: alerting resting white blood cells and spurring them into action, as well as helping to make other biochemicals that are essential to the immune system.
POAs also help increase the supply of B cells in the body, which are white blood cells that make antibodies that kill germs. The most important effect is that the POAs found in cat’s claw root help to increase the number of T-cells, which destroy cancer and are also important in diseases like AIDS.
Maitake mushrooms, found in the forests of Japan, are large mushrooms recognized by their rippling caps. They are associated with good health in those who eat them and are known by many names, including: “Grifola frondosa”, “Hen-of-the-Woods”, and dancing mushrooms.
Because they are known as healthy food, they have been studied extensively by researchers. Many maitake compounds have major health-promoting potential, specifically maitake D-fraction, which has powerful anti-cancer effects.
D-fraction stops the growth of cancer cells and cancerous tumors, as well as, stimulates the activity of macrophages and natural killer cells, which triggers the production of interleukins. Maitake can also inhibit some of the devices that promote the spread of cancer cells in the lymph system and bloodstream. Thanks to this, maitake D-fraction is used to help with breast cancer in addition to chemotherapy.
After being studied for over twenty years, scientists found that IP-6, a substance found in the bran of brown rice, combined with inositol has extremely powerful effects on the immune system.
IP-6 with inositol is able to affect cancer cells by causing them to lose their aggressive nature, stop dividing uncontrollably, and eventually die, and yet the combination does not affect normal cells. This combination also increases the activity of natural killer cells, which naturally kill cancer cells and those infected by viruses, as well as acts as an antioxidant to help prevent cellular damage.
When combining both IP-6 and inositol together, very powerful cancer preventative effects and good cancer-killing effects happened.
If only one substance is taken on its own, you will still get the good cancer preventative effects as well as the good cancer-killing effects, however, they will be much less powerful. IP-6 is broken down into IP-3 once it enters the human body, which is more active than IP-6, but also very unstable.
The POAs in the cat’s claw root extract strengthens the body’s immune system, while maitake d-fraction encourages the body’s own immune system regulators to act on cancer cells. Along with this, IP-6 with inositol increases NK cell activity. The combination works synergistically to strengthen and balance the immune system without the fear of over-stimulation.