It is important that Uncaria tomentosa is the plant used for medicinal
purposes. Acacia gregii is another plant known by the name of
Cat's Claw which grows in Mexico and Texas. This plant has no
known medicinal properties and may be toxic. Uncaria guaianensis,
is being marketed as an alternative however it is missing an important
constituent. Uncaria rhynchophylla is a variety from China which
is very similar to Uncaria tomentosa, but not quite the same.
The main alkaoid Rhynchophylline has been used in China for hypertension
and headaches caused by vascular constriction. Cat's claw should
not be confused with Devils claw (Harpagophytum procumbens} which
is a vine from South Africa with anti-inflammatory properties.
Known Hazards: This product should
not be taken if you have an autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis,
or tuberculosis. In Europe, health care providers avoid combining
this herb with hormonal drugs, insulin, or vaccines. Do not take
this product if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Cat's claw
may block platelets from forming clots, so you should be cautious
if you are already taking a medication, including aspirin, which
thins the blood.