Herbal Therapies Used by People Living With HIV: Cat's Claw
Part of A Practical Guide to Herbal Therapies for People Living With HIV
Cat's claw is available in capsules, powders, tinctures and as a highly concentrated extract. Because it's an endangered plant, the government of Peru has restricted its collection. This reality has increased the possibility that it may be replaced with other plants in some products. Unfortunately, some of the plants most commonly substituted for cat's claw suppress the immune system.
Traditionally used as a contraceptive and for urinary tract infections, cat's claw has no reported side effects, but women who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant should avoid it. The herb is processed in the body by the same enzymes used by many antiretroviral drugs, including protease inhibitors. Although there have been no reported cases of increased drug side effects associated with the use of cat's claw, the potential risk exists.
This article was provided by Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. Visit CATIE's Web site to find out more about their activities, publications and services.