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Catís Claw Herb

Catís claw is a powerful antiviral, antioxidant and immune-boosting agent from the Peruvian rainforest plant Uncaria tomentosa, says Patrick Holford in his book 100% Health. It contains alkaloids including isopteridin, which has been proven to boost immune function.

Catís claw is used as a treatment for arthritis, digestive problems and ulcers. The herb can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and may help to prevent cancer. In Germany and Austria, standardized extracts of cat's claw are available by prescription to boost immunity in people with cancer and AIDS.

Catís claw is available as a tea or in supplements. As a tea it tastes good with added blackcurrant and apple concentrate. To fight an infection you need 2-4g a day, or four cups of tea. One cup of catís claw tea a day helps maintain immune power.

Caution: Cat's claw may interact unfavorably with a wide range of medications, so consult your physician before using it. Be cautious if also taking anticoagulants, such as warfarin (Coumadin). Do not take cat's claw if you are pregnant, planning pregnancy, breastfeeding, or if you have a disease of the immune system or are HIV-positive. (Despite its use in Europe with AIDS and cancer patients, some experts fear the immune-stimulating effects might aggravate auto-immune diseases.)

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