The bark and root have been used by South Americans for centuries to treat health problems including arthritis, stomach ulcers, inflammation, dysentery, and fevers. It was also used as a form of birth control.
Studies indicate that cat’s claw may stimulate the immune system, help relax the smooth muscles (such as the intestines), dilate blood vessels (helping lower blood pressure), and act as a diuretic (helping the body eliminate excess water). The oxindole alkaloids found in the bark and roots of Cats Claw, which have been documented to stimulate the immune system.
It is these seven different alkaloids that are credited with having a variety of different medicinal and healing properties. The most immunologically active alkaloid is believed to be Isopteropodin (Isomer A), which increases the immune response in the body and act as antioxidants to rid the body of free radicals.
These compounds found in Cat’s Claw may also work to kill viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms that cause disease, and they work to inhibit healthy cells from becoming cancerous.
Cat’s claw has antioxidant properties, helping the body eliminate particles known as free radicals that damage cells. Scientists believe free radicals to contribute to health problems, including heart disease and cancer.