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Contraindications and side effects of a cat’s claw

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Discover the contraindications and side effects of a cat’s claw.

Cat’s claw or Uncaria tomentosa is a climbing plant native to the Peruvian jungle that has been used in local medicine for centuries and is currently consumed throughout the world.

The versatility of this plant allows us to treat countless conditions in our body thanks to its many properties.

But, as with any other product that we want to use to improve our health, it is good that we first inform ourselves about whether we are suitable for consumption.Contraindications and side effects of cat's claw


If you want to know everything about the contraindications and side effects of a cat’s claw, keep reading this article in which we are going to explain them to you in detail.

Uses and properties of cat’s claw

If you already know what cat’s claw is for, also known as garabato, cat’s liana, samento, or cat’s claw, you will know that due to its extensive properties it provides us with many benefits, such as improving our circulation and digestion, relieving pain and inflammations, fight infectious diseases and even reduce the development of cancerous tumors.


For this reason, it is one of the most consumed plants, especially in Latin America but with many followers that continue to increase little by little in other areas of the planet.

Although really, there is still not enough scientific evidence that this plant has all these effects on our body, the popular belief is very strong and widespread.

What is proven is that a cat’s claw has certain components that can help us improve our health, among which we find indole alkaloids and oxindoles, glycosides, polyphenolics, triterpenic heterosides (derived from quinovic acid), and phytosterols, among others.

Contraindications of cat’s claw

As with most medicines and natural products, although it seems like a miraculous plant, cat’s claw or Uncaria tomentosa has contraindications and side effects, so it is highly advisable that before consuming it you know well the problems that this medicinal herb presents. in which cases it is not good to take it and what side effects it can produce on our health if we exceed its use.

Of course, before deciding to take it or not, you should consult with your doctor about the health problems that you present, what possible treatments are available, and if in your case it is indicated or if consuming this plant is going to benefit you.

These are the main contraindications of a cat’s claw and the cases in which its use is not recommended:


•Take cat’s claw for a long time

It is contraindicated to consume a cat’s claw for a long time, it is good to take breaks of a few weeks or months to let the body settle down again and cleanse itself of waste and toxins before taking this medicinal plant again.

It should be done this way because in high doses or prolonged treatments it can affect the body causing reactions such as gastritis, stomach pain, constipation, and reduced production of progesterone and other sex hormones.

•People with ulcers in the digestive system

Although its use to improve the digestive system is popularly widespread, as one of the side effects that cat’s claw has is precisely to cause gastrointestinal problems because it also contains tannins, a bitter substance that can worsen digestive diseases, it is not recommended to take it in case of suffering from ulcers in the digestive system or ailments such as severe gastritis.

•Under 3 years

The consumption of this herb is contraindicated in children under 3 years of age since the immune system is not yet formed and the fact that the properties of the cat’s claw interact with this system can affect it.

In the case of children under 12 years of age, it is good to consult with your pediatrician or regular doctor if it is appropriate or not in your case, since the immune system is still growing and strengthening.

•Pregnancy and breastfeeding

As it is not yet proven that it is safe to consume this natural product in this case and it is also known that it contains certain components that make it dangerous for pregnancies, it is not advisable to consume this plant during these two periods since alkaloids can affect the fetus through the placenta and the baby through breast milk and phytoestrogens can be abortifacient.


•People who take blood thinners or have hemophilia

The Uncaria tomentosa presents anticoagulants in composition, so it is not advisable to be taken in any way to people who are hemophiliacs, since it will not be an adequate way to treat hemophilia, or people who are already taking treatment doctor for clotting problems, whether for varicose veins, poor general circulation or thrombosis since the only thing they will achieve is to exceed the number of anticoagulants that your body receives, which can cause problems contrary to those who suffer.

•People with low blood pressure

This plant also affects blood pressure reducing it due to its vasodilator effects, therefore, if you suffer from this condition, it is not advisable to treat arterial hypotension with a cat’s claw.

•People with heart problems

Because this plant affects blood pressure, it is not recommended for those who suffer from heart disease.


•Leukemia sufferers

As in cases of leukemia, it is not advisable to stimulate the immune system, cat’s claw should not be taken since it notably stimulates and strengthens the immune system.

•People with autoimmune diseases

As Uncaria tomentosa can increase certain symptoms of autoimmune diseases by the very fact of stimulating the immune system, it is contraindicated in people suffering from diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, active chronic hepatitis, scleroderma, etc.

•People who have had an organ transplant

In the case of people who have undergone an organ transplant, it is not good to consume a cat’s claw since it is not advisable to increase immunity in these cases.


Side effects of cat’s claw

If this medicinal herb is not taken in any of the above cases and it is not abused, it does not produce adverse effects.

But if it is consumed very often or if you turn out to be sensitive to this plant, you must bear in mind the possible side effects that the consumption of cat’s claw can have on our body:

•Urticaria or dermatitis due to direct contact of the plant with our skin

•General allergy






•Increased bleeding during menstruation


•Possible bleeding gums, nose, and easy bruising



•General ill and decay

Tips for taking cat’s claw

If after reviewing the contraindications and side effects of Uncaria tomentosa you think you can take it, you should know that the most used parts of this plant are the bark and roots.

There are many ways in which it can be consumed but the most popular is undoubtedly the infusion of both the roots and the bark.

You can also find it in powder with which you can make infusions, or sprinkle it in your meals, and in capsules that you can take days for a short period.

If you have found it useful to know contraindications and side effects of cat’s claw and you like to take natural products to take care of your health, it is also recommended that you read this other article about contraindications and side effects of green coffee.

This article is merely informative, at HBO we do not have the power to prescribe any medical treatment or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.


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