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Introduction

Cat’s claw is a vine that grows in Central and South America. It has been used to ease swelling and help the body fight off disease. Its bark and root can be taken as a liquid extract or made into a tea. It can also be taken as a pill or powder.

Dosages

There aren’t any advised doses for cat’s claw.

What Research Shows

May Not Be Effective

  • Osteoarthritis —may not ease symptoms or improve quality of life B1

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Denture stomatitis A1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe for most adults to take cat’s claw for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or by people with immune system problems.C1

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • People taking blood thinners or medicine to break up blood clots should talk to their doctors before taking cat’s claw. It may increase the risk of bleeding.
  • People taking antiretroviral drugs should talk to and be closely monitored by their doctors. Cat’s claw may increase the risk of adverse events.
 

References

A. A. Denture Stomatitis

A1. Tay LY, Jorge JH, et al. Evaluation of different treatment methods against denture stomatitis: a randomized clinical study. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2014 Jul;118(1):72-77. C. Safety C1. Jalloh MA, Gregory PJ, et al. Dietary supplement interactions with antiretrovirals: a systematic review. Int J STD AIDS. 2017 Jan;28(1):4-15.

B. B. Osteoarthritis

B1. Del Grossi Moura M, Lopes LC, et al. Oral herbal medicines marketed in Brazil for the treatment of osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytother Res. 2017 Nov;31(11):1676-1685.

C. C. C. Safety

C1. Jalloh MA, Gregory PJ, et al. Dietary supplement interactions with antiretrovirals: a systematic review. Int J STD AIDS. 2017 Jan;28(1):4-15.

Last reviewed May 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated:6/2/2020