Healing Reaction with TOA-Free Cat’s Claw

By William Lee Cowden, MD

TOA-Free Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa 100% free of tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids) has immune-enhancing properties as well as direct anti-microbial properties.  In a person who is overloaded with microbes such as a person with Lyme disease, taking a large dose of TOA-Free Cat’s Claw or certain other anti-microbials can cause a microbial die-off reaction or “healing crisis”.  Such a person might develop nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, abdominal discomfort, joint pains, weakness or other “toxic” symptoms.  These symptoms presumably occur because of a sudden increase of mycotoxins, endotoxins and various other microbial toxins released into the body from the rapidly-dying microbes.  These toxins overload the ground matrix, which is the fluid-filled space between tissue cells from which those cells derive their oxygen and nutrients and into which the tissue cells dump their own metabolic waste products.  Because of this overload of toxins in the ground matrix and the reduced ability of the tissue cells to get proper nourishment and waste removal, the tissue cells become “sick”.  Aerobic metabolism of the tissue cells decreases, anaerobic metabolism increases and lactic acidosis increases.  The lymphatic channels between cells also become overloaded; then fluid builds up around and in the tissue cells which further jeopardizes the function of the affected human cells.

A few things can be done to minimize this healing crisis cascade of events.  First, starting the treatment with TOA-Free Cat’s Claw at a very low dose and building up the dose very slowly and cautiously over many days reduces the rate of microbial die-off.  This in turn reduces the production of the microbial toxins that create the die-off healing crisis reaction.  Secondly, having the person who takes TOA-Free Cat’s Claw drink large amounts of pure water each day helps to flush the toxins out of the body faster.  The preferable water intake is between ½ and ¾ ounce per pound of body weight per day (a 150 pound man would drink between 75 and 112 ounces per day).  Thirdly, if a person takes certain herbal and/or homeopathic remedies to aid the detoxification of the ground matrix, lymphatic, liver, kidneys and bowel, then the microbial toxins do not tend to build up in the tissues as much.  Homeopathic mistletoe (viscum album 12 x or 30 x) is a very good remedy for ground matrix.  The herbs echinacea and/or clevers  plus skin brushing and exercise are good for lymphatic support.  Hydrangea, watermelon seed and parsley are helpful for kidney support.  Dandelion, milk thistle and lipoic acid are helpful for liver support.   Also each person should have at least one large bowel movement per day by using sufficient magnesium malate, fiber such as psyllium and, if necessary, herbal laxatives like cascara sagrada.  Fourthly, algae, grasses and fiber (chlorella, barley grass, and psyllium, or slippery elm) help to bind the microbial toxins to carry them out of the body.

The effective dosage of TOA-Free Cat’s Claw varies markedly from patient to patient.  One patient with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis experienced a progressive increase in strength when her family worked her dose up to 3 drops of the herbal extract 3 times daily in a cup of water, but 4 drops 3 times daily caused intolerable die-off healing crisis.  Another patient in a coma with glioblastoma multiforme in the brain and expected to die by all his doctors awoke from the coma 24 hours after the TOA-Free Cat’s Claw herbal extract was started at 20 drops in a cup of water four times daily down his naso-gastric tube.  He had no healing crisis symptoms initially noted.  However, when he went back to work 4 days later, he had liver enzyme elevation by blood tests.  The enzyme elevation resolved by adding some herbal liver support and his brain tumor continued to shrink on subsequent brain scans.  Some patients with Lyme disease appear to require a gradual build-up of dose of the TOA-Free Cat’s Claw to 15 or 20 drops 2 to 3 times daily but many improve nicely on 5 drops 3 times daily.  When in doubt, start low on the dosage and build up slowly.