Cat’s claw has a long history of medicinal use, dating back to the Inca civilization in South America. The powerful herb boasts antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Cat’s claw health benefits include the ability to treat arthritis, lower high blood pressure, fight chronic fatigue syndrome and improve digestive problems, among other benefits. As fat as antiviral herbs go, cat’s claw is one of the best.

Cat’s Claw Health Benefits

1. Treats Arthritis

Studies have shown that cat’s claw health benefits include the ability to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. In a 2001 study, researchers found that cat’s claw was able to significantly reduce pain in patients suffering from osteoarthritis, without posing the risk of any harmful side effects. In a study published in the Journal of Rheumatology, researchers concluded that cat’s claw contains pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids, compounds that are able to modulate the immune system and reduce pain. (1)

2. May Help Fight Cancer

Studies suggest that cat’s claw health benefits may include the ability to help kill tumor and cancer cells. According to a 2011 in vivo study, cat’s claw bark was able to prevent the growth of a human breast cancer cell line, thanks to the antimutagenic and antiproliferative effects it had on cancer cells. (2)

3. Repairs DNA

Cat’s claw health benefits include the ability to repair DNA. In a 2011 study, researchers studied the effects of cat’s claw extract on patients who had received chemotherapy. They found that the herb significantly decreased DNA damage and increased DNA repair.

4. Lowers High Blood Pressure

Cat’s claw health benefits include the ability to naturally lower high blood pressure. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners often look to cat’s claw to help reduce blood pressure and increase circulation. Studies have shown that cat’s claw can also help prevent heart attacks and strokes by inhibiting the formation of plaque in the arteries, brain and heart.

5. Boosts Immune Function

Cat’s claw health benefits include the ability to boost immune function. Studies have shown that the herb’s ability to repair DNA and fight infection can significantly enhance the immune system. In one study, researchers found that cat’s claw was able to prevent pneumonia.

6. May Aid in HIV Treatment

Research suggests that cat’s claw health benefits may include the ability to id in HIV treatment. Researchers believe it shows promise as a natural treatment of HIV thanks to its ability to strengthen the immune system and repair DNA.

7. Combats Herpes

Cat’s claw health benefits include the ability to naturally treat the herpes virus. In a 2011 study, researchers found that the herb exhibited antimutagenic and antiherpetic properties that can help boost the immune system and treat the virus. (3)

8. Improves Digestive Problems

Cat’s claw health benefits include the ability to provide relief from digestive problems, including Crohn’s disease. It works by lowering inflammation that causes painful symptoms. Cat’s claw can also help treat colitis, hemorrhoids, stomach ulcers and leaky gut syndrome.