Friday, 16 May 2014

Herbal Cat's claw as Antioxidants

Cat's claw found in in the tropical jungles of South and Central America, is a genus Uncaria, belonging to the family Rubiaceae. It has been used in traditional medicine over two thousand years as a tonic, contraceptive, anti-inflammatory and infectious agent, and to treat diarrhea, rheumatic disorders, acne, diabetes, cancer and diseases of the urinary tract, etc..
The chemical constustuents of Cat's claw include, ajmalicine, akuammigine, campesterol, catechin, carboxyl alkyl esters, chlorogenic acid, cinchonain, corynantheine, corynoxeine, daucosterol, epicatechin, harman, hirsuteine, hirsutine, iso-pteropodine, etc.
Free radicals are atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons through chemical bonds with other atoms or molecules during a chemical reaction. They may have positive, negative or zero charge. The unpaired electrons cause radicals to be highly chemically reactive in the human body, leading to aging and cancers.

Herbal Cat's claw has found to be efficacy for treatment of osteoarthritis, probably through its anti inflammatory and antioxidant mechanisms.
According to the, oral administration of Cat's claw protected against indomethacin-induced gastritis, and prevented TNFalpha mRNA(proteins are key regulators of T-cell activation, migration, and proliferation) expression and apoptosis due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities(1).
Pteropodine, a chemical compound isolated from Cat's claw, showed to exert its cytostatic, anti-inflammatory and antimutagenic properties in DPPH assay(2).
Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of the Uncaria tomentosa bark, in the study at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, supported the antioxidant effect of the extract with the most in total phenolic compounds of the alcoholic preparations butmay cause undesirable gastric effects(3).
Other chemical compound, proanthocyanidins found in the decoctions prepared from the bark of Uncaria tomentosa (cat's claw) also was found to exert its high capacity to reduce the free radical diphenylpicrylhydrazyl, and by its reaction with superoxide anion, peroxyl and hydroxyl radicals as well as with the oxidant species, hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorous acid(4).

Side effects
1. It may cause allergic reaction, including itching, rash and allergic inflammation of the kidneys, etc. to certain people, according to the article of `Uncaria Tomentosa`by Wikipedia(a)
2. If you are taking blood pressure medicines, blood-thinning medications, hormones, or insulin do not take cat's claw
3. Do not take Cat's claw if you are pregnant or breast feeding with out approval of your related field specialist
4. Do not take cat’s claw if you have low blood pressure or an autoimmune disease (such as lupus or multiple sclerosis) or have had an organ or bone marrow transplant.
5. Etc.

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(1) Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis) are independent of their alkaloid content by Sandoval M1, Okuhama NN, Zhang XJ, Condezo LA, Lao J, Angeles' FM, Musah RA, Bobrowski P, Miller MJ.(PubMed)
(2) Antigenotoxic, antioxidant and lymphocyte induction effects produced by pteropodine by Paniagua-Pérez R1, Madrigal-Bujaidar E, Molina-Jasso D, Reyes-Cadena S, Alvarez-González I, Sánchez-Chapul L, Pérez-Gallaga J.(PubMed)
(3) Antioxidant activity of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) DC by Pilarski R1, Zieliński H, Ciesiołka D, Gulewicz K.(PubMed)

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