Boost The Immune System With Cats Claw
Because there are so many kinds of catís claw supplements, such as: catís claw leaves, catís claw bark, and catís claw twigs, catís claw is one of the most confusing nutritional supplements currently available in health food stores. Although all catís claw supplements claim to help the immune system, only the root of Uncaria tomentosa gives the true health benefits by possessing the healing power to treat and prevent diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers, degenerative diseases, and also providing anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-microbial benefits. However, only those Uncaria tomentosa roots that contain ďgood spirits,Ē seen by Ashaninka healers of the Ashaninka tribe contain healing properties. If these good spirits are mixed with any root that does not contain good spirits, the healing power is lost. With the use of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), scientists can now see the ďgood spiritsĒ too. These good spirits are actually medicinal compounds called pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POAs).
POAs directly interact with white blood cells, which fight diseases we catch, such as colds and flu, along with diseases that start in our own cells, such as cancer and autoimmune diseases. Some POAs also help white blood cells called macrophages, which engulf and digest foreign material, work faster by engulfing more bacteria and disease causing microbes. This medicinal compound also increases the production of interleukin, a chemical protein secreted by macrophages that alerts resting white blood cells and forces them into action and helps make other biochemicals that are helpful to the immune system. POAs also help increase the number of white blood cells that make antibodies that kill germs, or B cells. Most importantly, POAs increase the number of T cells, including: Helper T cells, Suppressor T cells, and Killer T cells, which destroy cancer cells. This increased number of T cells is also very important in a disease such as AIDS.
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), there are 3000 plant extracts that can kill cancer cells, 70 percent of these plants being found only in the rain forest. The fertile environment provided by the rain forest, due to the constant rain from January to December and the 75-80 degree Fahrenheit temperatures, allows the plants grown to be amazingly rich in alkaloids and other medicinal compounds. When the Ashaninka harvest the plant, they work intelligently to keep it perpetually healthy. Individual plants are never completely harvested. Only one third of their roots are collected at any time and then no more root is harvested from that plant for the next ten years, allowing re-growth in the remaining root. Because the Ashaninka are a generous people, they see no benefit in hoarding the catís claw for themselves. As their homelands continue to be destroyed by deforestation, they want to make sure that the plantís healing properties continue on.
Some catís claw roots have good spirits, POAs, while others tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids, TOAs, which do not help the immune system at all. Since Uncaria tomentosa plants look almost identical, it is hard to tell if they contain healing properties or non-helpful properties. Plants containing POAs one year may contain TOAs the following year because their alkaloid chemotypes change at will. After scientists discovered that they could ďseeĒ the presence of TOAs using the HPLC technology, they gained the ability to harvest catís claw root extracts with POAs consistently. Because buying products that contain TOAs will only benefit the catís claw distributor due to its cancelling effects on POAs, it is important to read the label of the catís claw root product you are considering buying.
In return for harvesting, the Ashaninka are directly paid by the distributors. This arrangement provides the Ashaninka with the ability to make their own decisions as to how to spend this income, allowing them to make improvements in the tribeís water supply and in their living areas. This arrangement also protects the rainforest, which gives us its many nuts, fruits, oil producing, and medicinal plants. Because of all its products, the rain forest hold more economic value than if it was cut down and used for timber or grazing land for cattle. Cats claw can be purchased at any health food store make sure you check the label to ensure you are receiving the Uncaria tomentosa official Cats Claw.
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