Cognitive Enhancing Ability of Uncaria Tomentosa


Uncaria tomentosa, or more commonly known as Cat’s Claw, is a species of vine that is endemic to the Central and South American regions. Cat’s Claw has gained popularity lately as a dietary supplement and as alternative medicine that supposedly works as a treatment and management for number of medical conditions.

Among the supposed medical conditions it can cure or manage includes arthritis, conditions in the digestive system, hemorrhoids, viral infections, hay fever, asthma, and cancer. Due to the popularity of Cat’s Claw in the 1990s, the American Cancer Society released a statement saying that the therapeutic claims made with Uncaria tomentosa supplements are not proven. The group also added that Uncaria tomentosa supplementation can cause serious side effects.

Uncaria tomentosaDespite the statement from the American Cancer Society, Cat’s Claw has been the subject of numerous studies that explores its potential for medical use and its ability to make the immune system response more efficient. Another species of Cat’s Claw, Uncaria guianensis, is being used for quite some time in Europe as a remedy for arthritic pain. More research however, is focused on Uncaria tomentosa as it is believed to have more medical potential.

Cat’s Claw one of the primary ingredients in the proprietary blend of Alpha Brain, one of the best selling nootropic stacks today. For reasons still unclear, this component is referred to by the brand as AC-11. Its contribution to nootropic enhancement is also a bit vague, but it may also have something to do with its ability to help manage chronic fatigue syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.

The extracts of Uncaria tomentosa, which is thought of as having medicinal value, contain a robust amount of pentacyclic triterpenoids, which is believed to hold a lot of curative potential for a variety of health conditions. Its extracts are likewise thought to have the ability to increase one’s lifespan, improve cardiovascular health, help reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system response. Cat’s claw has also been known to be used to speed up the healing of wounds.

In reality, there are no existing studies to confidently declare that Cat’s Claw has any cognitive enhancing ability. Alpha Brain does provide what may be considered as a rather vague explanation for its nootropic properties. The brand points out that the extracts of the plant has the ability to repair the cells at the DNA level and that since stress causes some damage to the DNA, and such damage can also lead to cognitive decline where AC-11, which basically is just Cat’s Claw, can start working its magic.

It would be easier to assume that Uncaria tomentosa has little to know value as a cognitive enhancer, at least no existing study has suggested otherwise. While it may have some therapeutic value, nothing seems to be directly related to improving the cognitive processes of the brain. Cat’s Claw supplementation is regarded as possibly safe but it also has side effects. These include headache, dizziness, upset stomach, and vomiting.


  • It is relatively affordable and widely available.
  • It can enhance your immune system response.
  • It can help manage and treat several medical conditions.
  • It has other side benefits.


  • It probably has no value as a cognitive enhancer.
  • Some users may have allergic reactions to it.
  • In one recorded case, it caused a patient’s kidney to fail.
  • It has other unpleasant side effects.

Uncaria tomentosa interacts with a variety of drugs. It is known to lower blood pressure so it might make the blood pressure go too low in individuals taking medicines to manage hypertension. Cat’s Claw might also interact with medicines that are transformed by the liver and immunosuppressants. The recommended daily dose for Uncaria tomentosa supplementation is 60 to 100mg daily.

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