• Dr. Bill Rawls

    ABOUT BILL RAWLS, M.D.

    Dr. Rawls' groundbreaking approach to wellness comes from decades of practicing medicine, extensive research in alternative therapies, and firsthand experience helping thousands find their path to wellness. Dr. Rawls is a best-selling author, Medical Director and Co-Founder of Vital Plan, a holistic health company and Certified B Corporation.
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  • Cat’s claw
    By Vital Plan
    Reviewed by Bill Rawls, MD
    Medical Director of Vital Plan

    Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) has been used for thousands of years by indigenous people of the Amazon for supporting a healthy immune system. Not surprisingly, the name comes from the shape of the thorns on the woody vine from which the herbal supplement comes. The herb is derived from the inner bark of the vine.

    Cat’s claw offers immune supporting properties.* Cat’s claw has been found to support healthy levels of white blood cells, including B and T lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, and granulocytes.*

    Benefits of Cat’s Claw*

    • Supports the immune system
    • Promotes cognitive health
    • Promotes a healthy intestinal tract
    • Potent antioxidant properties
    • Dilates blood vessels and promotes normal blood pressure

    Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) has been used for thousands of years by indigenous people of the Amazon for supporting a healthy immune system. Not surprisingly, the name comes from the claw-like shape of the thorns on the plant’s woody vine; the herb is derived from the inner bark of the vine.

    Cat’s claw offers a range of immune-supporting properties. It has been found to support healthy levels of white blood cells, including B and T lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, and granulocytes.*

    Also used in traditional medicine for improving memory and reducing brain fog, cat’s claw is now exhibiting promising cognitive benefits in modern research. For example, in one six-week study of healthy adults aged 18 to 35, those who took a supplement containing cat’s claw bark powder saw significant improvements in short-term memory and executive functions compared to the control group.*

    Another exciting recent study found that cat’s claw reduced brain plaques and tangles — commonly associated with memory problems and cognitive decline, especially in Alzheimer’s disease — through specialized anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.*

    Finally, cat’s claw contains compounds called alkaloids that were shown to increase the neurologic growth factor BDNF and moderate other neurological changes associated with stroke in a third study.*

    Side effects: Occasional stomach upset can occur, but it’s generally very well tolerated. Cat’s claw requires activation by stomach acid to be effective, and so should be taken with food. Acid-blocking drugs can prevent the activation of cat’s claw. Taking apple cider vinegar with the herb may enhance activation.

     

    Ingredients similar to cat’s claw:

    Cordyceps, japanese knotweed, andrographis, bacopa, ashwagandha, ginkgo, and lion’s mane.

    The Cellular Wellness Solution

    Discover more in Dr. Bill Rawls’ new #1 Bestselling book: The Cellular Wellness Solution: Tap Into Your Full Health Potential with the Science-Backed Power of Herbs.

    An eye-opening and empowering book that the world needs right now: The Cellular Wellness Solution will fundamentally change how you think about herbs and the powerful role they play in cultivating wellness at the cellular level.”

    Mark Hyman5 stars
    Mark Hyman, MD
    Fourteen-time #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

    References
    1. Solomon TM, et al. “A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel group, efficacy study of alpha BRAIN® administered orally.” Human Psychopharmacology. 2016 Mar;31(2):135-43. doi: 10.1002/hup.2520.
    2. Snow AD, et al. “The Amazon rain forest plant Uncaria tomentosa (cat’s claw) and its specific proanthocyanidin constituents are potent inhibitors and reducers of both brain plaques and tangles.” Scientific Reports. 2019 Feb 6;9(1):561. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-38645-0.
    3. Huang H, et al. “Neuroprotective effects of rhynchophylline against ischemic brain injury via regulation of the Akt/mTOR and TLRs signaling pathways.” Molecules. 2014 Jul 30;19(8):11196-210. doi: 10.3390/molecules190811196.

    *This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your qualified healthcare provider before beginning any diet or program.

    Learn more about Cat’s Claw from the FDA here »

    About the Medical Director
    Dr. Bill Rawls
    Dr. Rawls is a licensed medical doctor in North Carolina and a leading expert in integrative health. He has extensive training in alternative therapies, and is the Medical Director of Vital Plan, a holistic health and herbal supplement company in Raleigh, NC.
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