This is topic Cat's Claw and herx? in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

To visit this topic, use this URL:

Posted by aileenhome (Member # 3960) on :
I took one Cat's Claw capsule on Monday and one on Tuesday - it's now Friday and I have had the worst week I have had in a very long time.

Symptoms are: really heavy thighs, tingling all over especially soles and palms, lots of leg muscle twitching, extreme nausea, stiff neck. I haven't had symptoms this extreme in ages

Is it possible that those 2 capsules I took several days ago are causing me to have a herx that is lasting this long?
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
What kind of cat's claw? Regular or the TOA-free?

I never had any herx with the regular kind but the TOA-free kind can really pack a punch.

If TOA-free, yes, two capsules can clobber you still 3 days later. you might consider starting with DROPS. Or, this just may not be the right thing for you.

I love the regular type, in tincture, it is very calming to me but, as mentioned, I had the opposite reaction with TOA-free capsules but also with the TOA-free drops.

For whatever reason you are taking this, there are other choices. Not everything works for everyone all the time. I have found, though, that if something blasts me, no matter how much time passes, if I give it another try or two, I have the same effect.

I've learned to move on to a different choice now.
Posted by aileenhome (Member # 3960) on :
It's Raintree Cat's claw so it's not TOA-free as far as I know.

I tend to metabolize things poorly anyway so I am hoping this is the problem and not a major relapse. Will ask the doc about tincture when I see her next - she had originally offered me the choice and I opted for the caps.

I appreciate your input.
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
Oh. RainTree is an excellent company. My guess is then, that two in two days' time was too much for you at this point in time.

You might back up and start with HERB PHARM Cat's Claw tincture. That's what I use. Still, start with one drop.

Save the capsules until you've been on the tincture a little while and then the capsules may work very well for you then.

I'll be back with a links for Herb Pharm
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
If you are on flagyl, be sure to take this with LOTS of water.

First, put a drop (or how many drops you work up to) in about 1/2 cup of water and swirl around to let the alcohol evaporate a bit. Then add more water. Warm is good but I'd not have it get too hot.


HERB PHARM (an Oregon herbal farm).

Many health markets carry Herb Pharm tinctures.

Cat's Claw in in the ``C'' category of ``Single Herb Extracts''

(Ua de Gato)

Botanical Name: Uncaria tomentosa

Plant Part Extracted: Sun-dried inner bark 2

Other Ingredients: certified organic grain alcohol, distilled water, vegetable glycerine & dilute hydrochloric acid.

Description: We prepare our Cat's Claw Extract from the inner bark of Uncaria tomentosa vines which are Custom Wildcrafted by indigenous Indians in the Pucallpa region of the Peruvian Amazon 2.

To assure optimal extraction of Cat's Claw's bioactive compounds, we use only the inner bark which is hand-harvested, carefully sun-dried and cleaned of outer bark, and is then shipped directly to our laboratory for thorough extraction.

Our Cat's Claw is never fumigated or irradiated.


You'll get it faster from the company itself but VitaCost is a good supplier. Still, they are in either Utah or Nevada. It's best to find a source closer to you. Herb Pharm Cat's Claw
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
Now, after all that, you might call Leslie Taylor at RainTree and ask if you can open up the Cat's Claw capsule and just take about 1/4 of a capsule in water.

I'm thinking that would be okay but it's good to talk with her first. And, as we begin a holiday weekend, that would have to wait until Tuesday. In the meantime, a bottle of the tincture is about $11. at your local health market.
Posted by Forgetfulgirl123 (Member # 27939) on :
How many mg of cat's claw (TOA Free) made you guys herx so severely? 100 mg per day might be sending me through the roof. I can't be too sure though. 100 mg doesn't sound like very much.
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
Numbers don't matter if it's to much for YOU at this time. VERY tiny amounts of both Rx and of supplements can be too much for many lyme patients at times.

If you have empty capsules, you can take some of the cat's claw and put in empty capsules. I used to have to do that with may things.

But, it's also an important message that you may need more in the way of liver support and supplements that help keep the cytokine levels down.

Are you taking Milk Thistle? Magnesium? Fish Oil? All help.

Have you read Buhner's book: "Healing Lyme" ?

Do you have a LLMD or LL ND (naturopathic doctor)?
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :

Advanced Topics in Lyme Disease (Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines for Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses

Dr. Burrascano's Treatment Guidelines (2008) - 37 pages

As important as any supplements, sections regarding self-care:


and also pages 31-32 for advice on a safe, non-aerobic exercise plan and physical rehabilitation.

This is included in Burrascano's Guidelines, but you may want to be able to refer to it separately, too:

** Nutritional Supplements in Disseminated Lyme Disease **

J.J. Burrascano, Jr., MD (2008) - Four pages


If you take cat's claw, this is a MUST read book:

Book: Healing Lyme: Natural Healing And Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis And Its Coinfections - by Stephen Harrod Buhner




It's very important to have this book as a reference tool for self-care and support measures. It answers so many questions in detail that is impossible here on the forum. (through Amazon)


You can read more about it here and see customer reviews.

Web site:
Posted by aileenhome (Member # 3960) on :
Keebler thanks so much for all this wonderful info. It's very kind of you. I had been doing pretty well and I have now been having the worst week in about a year which really dents your confidence.

I realised Cat's Claw was potent and I thought that one a day would be OK since my doc is prescribing 4 caps 3 times a day. I doubt I will ever get to that dose!

Still feeling achy and flu-like and hoping this wears off soon. Using NanoTek to pull out toxins. Yes I am also taking fish oil and magnesium. I have a bottle of milk thistle but have never used it - basically because I don't do well on things and it makes me apprehensive to stir up the pot as I obviously have done with the Cat's Claw.
Posted by aileenhome (Member # 3960) on :
oh and I do have both an LLMD and a LLND so I will be contacting them next week. LLND was the Cat's Claw prescriber and also prescribed lomatium which I have not yet taken.
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
I understand hesitation with new things however . . .

Milk thistle will help you better handle just about anything. It's the most important supplement of all. But, as with anything, start with a low dose, just once a day until you see how you do.

Very glad to hear you have both LLMD and LL ND. I also like to read about anything I'm going to take. Here's a start with Milk Thistle:

Milk Thistle Seed

From: The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook (Tillotson,


and, if Milk Thistle is too strong for you, there are other good liver support options. Search "Bupleurum" in the book above. Then search that book for "LIVER" and learn various ways to take care of your liver - you can discuss all that with your doctors.


From Vitamin Research Products Library

Search results for Milk Thistle - 20 articles
Posted by aileenhome (Member # 3960) on :
Thanks for the milk thistle/liver info. You have given me lots of great info to study. Feeling a bit better today - thank goodness as I have 8 people coming for a BBQ and would have hated to cancel though my friends all do understand.

I worked in medical information in a large pharma company and my husband is in pharma research so that's why I like to investigate products before taking them.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3