Cat’s Claw: Discover the Herb Everyone is Talking About

Published on July 12, 2019

For over 2,000 years, native tribes in the Amazon rainforest and other areas of South and Central America have used Cat’s Claw (aka Una de Gato) traditionally and spiritually. Cat’s Claw is a woody vine named after its claw-like thorns1 that climb high into the canopy of the rainforest. It grows wildly in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Trinidad, Venezuela, Suriname, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Panama.

History of Cat's Claw

Cat’s Claw first came to the attention of the European scientific community in the 1970s, when Austrian researcher Klaus Keplinger learned about Cat’s Claw from the Ashaninka people of central Peru. The Ashaninka are one of the largest producers of the herb. The native people value this plant as highly spiritual and important to folkways. Keplinger received two U.S. patents for isolating certain chemicals, oxindole alkaloids, of the herb.2 The oxindole alkaloids may provide the best explanation on how the plant supports a healthy immune system.*

The Increasing Popularity of Cat's Claw

The bark of Cat’s Claw is the principal part of the plant that’s used. A study from the Journal of Rheumatology discussed the anti-inflammatory effects that Cat’s Claw has on the human body.* In this study, over half of the participants who were taking Cat’s Claw, versus a placebo, found the herb helped maintain healthy joints and reduced pain.* Cat’s Claw has also been known to support a healthy immune system.* Gaia Herbs Cat’s Claw Bark is ideal for athletes or anyone else that finds themselves impacted by intense inflammatory response.* Of the herb’s chemical makeup, the group of chemical compounds called glycosides has been the center of healthy inflammatory response research.* It has also been said that Cat’s Claw supports a healthy digestive system and white blood cell count.*3

From the rainforests of South and Central America, Cat's Claw proves to be another amazing herb that we get to share with the earth. Its immune and inflammatory response support properties make it a great choice for those living an active lifestyle so they can continue to live life to the fullest.*

Expand Your Herbal IQ

Love learning about new herbs? Then check out Gaia Herbs' comprehensive Herb Reference Guide. Carefully compiled by our product education team, this guide will help you enhance your relationship with herbs by giving you a comprehensive profile of each plant including its history and traditional use.


1 Cat’s Claw. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

2 Uses and benefits of Cat’s Claw. All-Natural.

3 Cat’s Claw. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.