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Author Topic: Chinese Cat's Claw for kratom & opioid tolerance reduction  (Read 6854 times)


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Chinese Cat's Claw for kratom & opioid tolerance reduction
« on: March 01, 2015, 05:31:54 pm »

Hello Phytoactive.net community!  I feel like it would be in everyone's best interest if I made a topic on this herb and how it can help opiate users reduce their tolerance and assist with tapering.

Uncaria rhynchophylla - Gou teng (Chinese Cat's Claw)
Chinese Cat's claw is a species of the Uncaria genus, coming from the Rubiaceae family of plants & the tribe Nauclea, both of these groups also home to the recently controversial opioid-like plant we know called Kratom, aka Mitragyna speciosa, formerly known as Nauclea speciosa.

Chinese Cat's claw has a history of use as an anti-spasmodic, for convulsions, & epilepsy.  It is a mild pain-killer, reduces anxiety, stops migraine headaches, and is an effective muscle relaxant.  It has also been used in some traditional Chinese formulations for the treatment of opium withdrawal.

In addition to the classical effects of this herb, it has become known that Chinese Cat's Claw has a noticeable effect on reducing tolerance caused by opioid use.  This may be in part be due to the potent NMDA antagonistic qualities of the herb.  It is a known fact that pharmaceutical NMDA antagonists such as Ketamine can reverse opioid tolerance, so the connection is not hard to fathom, although it should be noted that Chinese Cat's claw does not possess a hallucinogenic profile like Ketamine and has zero abuse potential.

Some of the alkaloids found in Chinese Cat's claw are the very same compounds found in Kratom aka Mitragyna speciosa, & are believed to be the compounds that delay the onset of Kratom's tolerance on the opioid receptors.  Some compounds found in various Uncaria spp are (most if not all of these are also found in Uncaria Rhynchophylla, aka Chinese Cat's claw)

-Rhynchophylline (NMDA antagonist,, Vasodilator, antihypertensive, calcium channel blocker,
antiaggregant, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, anti-arrhythmic, antithelmintic.)
-Isorhynchophylline (NMDA antagonist, Immunostimulant)
-Ajmalicine (Cerebrocirculant, antiaggregant, anti-adrenergic (at alpha-1), sedative, anticonvulsant, smooth muscle relaxer. Also found in Rauwolfia serpentina.)
-Ciliaphylline (antitussive, analgesic.)
-Corynantheidine (μ -opioid antagonist, also found in Yohimbe.)
-Corynoxeine (Calcium channel blocker.)
-Isocorynoxeine (Calcium channel blocker.)
-Corynoxine A/B (Dopamine mediating anti-locomotives.)
-Mitraphylline (Oxindole alkaloid. Vasodilator, antihypertensive, muscle relaxer, diuretic, antiamnesic, anti-leukemic, possible immunostimulant.)
-Isomitraphylline (Immunostimulant, anti-leukemic.)
-Isopteropodine (Immunostimulant)
-Catechin/Epicatechin (ntioxidant, antiaggregant, antibacterial, antidiabetic,
antihepatitic, anti-inflammatory, anti-leukemic, antimutagenic, antiperoxidant,
antiviral, potential cancer preventative, alpha-amylase inhibitor. Also found in dark chocolate.)
-Tetrahydroalstonine (Hypoglycemic, anti-adrenergic)

For those familiar with the Mitragyna speciosa alkaloid list, one can see that the similarities are stunning, and it is no wonder that both herbs have a historical use for treating opium addicts.

While Chinese Cat's claw does have the pharmacology of a useful tool during opioid cessation, it seems that outside of just providing this tolerance reducing effect, that the herb can also serve as a replacement or "filler" for those looking to manage their pain, being able to both decrease the amount of pain-killer needed to be used, and to reduce ones tolerance in the process thanks to the Rhynchophylline & Corynantheidine constituents found in the bark.

The best effects from Chinese Cat's Claw are achieved via consumption of the powdered herb.  Many of the compounds are either heat sensitive, not water soluble, or are hydrolyzed when mixed with hot water or steam, changing the structure.  While some of the effects will show through tea, it seems best to consume this herb whole.  It is recommended by users of Kratom & other opioids to take 1 teaspoon after the last dose of the day, shortly before bed for the best results.

Below I will post some anonymous quotes from an old kratom forum:

I have found this herb to be very beneficial when used as a powder. Grinding it into a powder lets me TnW (Toss & Wash) it easy with some OJ. I had the root bark before but I didn't know that heat messes up the experience, destroying almost all the good stuff. So I like to take it at night time, it makes me relaxed and I have had really vivid dreams the couple of times I have taken it. I will continue to use it to reset tolerance too. It works really well for that, because the next day my burns are always stronger and I can use a little bit less, maybe like a couple grams lower than my regular burn amount. Not only are my burns more potent, but they feel a lot more euphoric and energizing. I have never burned kratom in conjunction with the cat's claw, so that might be something I will try at some point. I am intrigued about the effect cat's claw has on dreaming. Has anyone else noticed that when they take cat's claw their dreams are affected? My dreams are longer and easier to remember, along with being more vivid then they usually are. The highest amount I have had was 3 grams of it. Just wanted to share my experience with this wonderful herb.

So far 4g TnW'd feels like its beginning to relieve the RLS. Maybe this will fully cover it if I take more.

Ok so I tried some cat's claw last night mixed in with my burn, 1g CC mixed with 4g K, I usually burn 6-8g at night. I gotta say it made the aroma stronger and last longer than usual.

Now I am wondering how much one would really need to take along with the burn for preventing tolerance. Studies show that a regular dose of dextromethorphan (DXM, active in OTC cough suppressant) taken with opiates will prevent tolerance as well as make the pain killing effects stronger and the duration longer.

I do not see why cat's claw would not be able to do the same for kratom. 1g was great but I'm sure that is a lot higher than needed to get the desired effect so I'm going to start experimenting and see what I find out. I'm guessing that I will be able to see noticeable effects at 0.25g and maybe even as low as 100mg (0.1g).

If anyone else has experience with this please feel free to chime in.

What I kinda noticed is the cats claw itself don't exactly drop your tolerance. What it does effectively is when you burn it with kratom, it strenghtens the kratom. It also helps to prevent tolerance built when you do take it.
I have  been finding it pretty effective as of late with stem and vein burns, and with smaller burns than my usual.

Basically what I get from it is, It can't undo whats done already. Like, hey i'll burn some cats claw and reset my tolerance. No not exactly lol.

Thats my take, unless this is like kratom and effects everyone differently, which i don't think exactly.

Taking it at night will make your morning burn stronger, and taking it before or with each burn will allow you to taper down the amount of kratom you use each burn and total amount per day. Hope this helped some

I think it does a pretty good job of relieving wd's, so it can be used in place of a burn as well. Personally, I don't like taking it with kratom. I rather like to space it out a few hours between burns or at night before bed. It is a good sleep aid but sometimes it gives me some strange dreams, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Chinese Cat's Claw can be found in bulk here:

Note:  This is not condoning the illicit consumption of narcotics or of Kratom, which is not an approved herbal supplement.  Kratom is becoming popular in the mainstream culture and this post is simply meant to provide the information necessary to reduce potential harm that could be caused from kratom or other opioid addiction left unchecked.

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