Una de Gato
I have read on another herbal website that you should not take una de gato if you have an autoimmune disorder. But I have also read that it is good for inflammation and intestinal problems so maybe you could clarify this for me? Thank you
Una de Gato, also commonly known as Cat's Claw, is a plant
that grows predominantly in the rain forests of South and Central
America. In the past 10 years it has become very popular as
an herbal therapy for many different health conditions. Some of its most
notable properties are related to its potent anti-inflammatory actions.
This has made it a popular therapy for conditions like arthritis, asthma and
health issue characterized by inflammation in the gastrointestinal
system. Some of the other alkaloids and compounds in the plant have been
touted to have some anti-cancer properties.
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View More by Dr. Kevin Passero
Your confusion about the use of this plant stems from the fact that Cat's Claw
also has some immune modulating properties. This is why many people take
it to help their body fight infection. However, if you have an
auto-immune condition there is a theoretical chance that by taking Cat's Claw
you can further rev up your immune system causing an exacerbation of the
symptoms. Some other herbs, like maitake mushrooms and Echinacea are also
believed to have this potential effect.
Some clinical data does suggest that Cat's Claw can be supportive in
inflammatory conditions that are autoimmune related such as ulcerative colitis,
Crohn's disease and Rheumatoid arthritis. My advice would be that if you
decide to use it start at a very low dose and slowly work your way up to a full
dose while monitoring your autoimmune symptoms. The potential to exacerbate
your autoimmune disease is mainly theoretical but it is worth being careful
when starting any new therapy to see how your body is going to respond.
Lead Medical Director
As a certified and fully trained Naturopathic Doctor, Passero has trained and preceptored with some of the nation's leading doctors in the field of natural medicine, working under the guidance of MD’s, Chiropractors, Naturopaths and Acupuncturists. Furthermore, he is currently the Vice President of the Maryland Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
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