Pau d’arco, also known as lapacho or taheebo, has been used by herbal healers as a natural remedy to heal a vide range of health conditions and diseases. It`s said that Pau d’arco can help to reduce inflammation, fight fungus and lose weight.
Pau d’arco, one of the best known, but least understood, herbs from the Amazon Rainforest, is one of the key ingredient in the tribal medicine chest. There are records of remedial uses of pau d’arco tea dating back to 1873.
The pau d’arco tree, often being called the “trumpet tree”, is a huge evergreen canopy tree (up to 125 feet high), with pink to violet colored flowers. It grows in Central and South America. Here in this article we describe pau d’arco’s uses, 14 health benefits, dosages and side effects.
Pau d’arco – Nutrients
Pau d’arcos use goes back in history to before the Incas. As this tree has extremely hard wood, native South American Indians used it for making hunting bows. So, its name is the Portuguese word for “bow stick”.
When making hunting bows, it was observed by Indians, that when the tree was alive and even after it was cut down, it never developed growth of mold, mildew, or fungi.
That`s why, the Topi and Guarani Indians name the tree as “tajy”, which stands for “to have strength and vigor” i.e. good health. So, they peeled off the tree’s bark in long strips, separated the inner and outer layers and used the inner bark to make healing teas.
Pau d’ arco has crystalline oxygen infused in it’s inner bark, which is rich in:
Pau d’arco – 14 Health Benefits and Uses
We all know the undesired side effects of prescription antibiotics. They are destroying beneficial bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract or becoming ineffective because of bacterial mutation. However, pau d’arco might be a strong, potent and successful natural substitute for antibiotics. As many other natural health care remedies, it has also multiple general health benefits beyond the specific intended purpose.
For example, if you use pau d’arco for relieving a cold, you will also benefit from it’s cleansing action of blood and liver, fighting of yeast infection, elimination of intestinal parasites, etc.
You an also benefit from it’s general immune building properties while treating a specific health condition. Once again, you benefit from the experience and wisdom of indigenous people, as they discovered and developed the use of pau d’arco, as a natural antibiotic. Pau d’arco supplements are available to purchase online.
As pau d’arco has an antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal action which stimulates the immune system and fights diseases, people of South America have used it for treating:
4. Respiratory problems
5. Fatigue, heart and poor blood circulation
Pau d’arco has a high iron content that contributes to the elimination of wastes, the assimilation of nutrients and increasing oxygen supply to needed areas of the body. It helps to tone, balance and strengthen the heart, to improve hemoglobin and red blood cell corpuscles.
6. Boosts immune system
As a preventative, it helps to build your immune system, because it stimulates the macrophages that fight diseases. Therefore, by improving the health of your blood and it’s flow, you greatly increase the effectiveness of your immune system.
Pau d’arco contains selenium which is one of your body’s natural defenses against fungus, yeast infections, vaginally as well as for topical skin treatment. So, it`s antifungal properties aid in the elimination of candida and fungi that promote athlete’s foot and other skin infections.
8. Arthritis and rheumatism
Pau d’arcos blood cleaning value makes it an outstanding astringent, anti-allergy, cardiotonic, and anti-rheumatic agent.
9. Skin irruptions
10. Sexually transmitted diseases
11. Tuberculosis, pneumonia, strep and dysentery
12. Intestinal infections
Pau d’arco has a cleansing ability. So, it`s very useful in relieving intestinal infections, destroying parasites, and restoring colon health. A number of infection fighting substances known as naphthoquinones seem to destroy certain disease causing bacteria, without destroying beneficial bacteria. This makes it an excellent natural antibiotic.
13. Colds, flu, cough, fever, and herpes
According to Los Angeles Times, lab studies suggest that lapachol, pau d’arco’s supposedly active ingredient, is efficient against malaria, herpes virus, fungi and cancer, and may boost the activity of immune cells because of it’s antiviral qualities.
However, some studies showed that at the high doses what some health conditions require for healing, pau d’arco may cause serious side effects, such as anemia and an increased risk of uncontrolled bleeding. Therefore, more research needs to be done to prove d’arco’s safety on humans (1).
14. Liver function
In addition, it is said to neutralize the poisons involving the liver which aids the liver in it’s blood cleansing function.
Pau d’arco and Cancer
Lapachol, existent in the inner bark of pau d’arco trees, shows potential when applied to isolated cancer cells. However, the dosage of extract needed to manifest anticancer properties in the human body would be toxic (1, 2, 3). Therefore, this subject needs more investigation.
However, According to Dr. Christophers`s Herbal Legacy, in 1960, its use was taken up by the Municipal Hospital of Santo Andre’ where doctors used a brew of the bark on terminal cancer patients. They reported that within 30 days of treatment using this herb, most patients no longer expressed pain and many medical doctors found their tumors also gone or greatly decreased. It`s because of it’s blood purifying qualities and anti-inflammatory effect, pau d’arco has been know to reduce pain caused by cancer and it’s treatment (4).
However, the dosages and pau d’arco forms they used are unknown, so please do not practice any cancer treatment with pau d’arco by yourself without consulting with your doctor and investigating more about this topic.
Forms and Dosage
Pau d’arco extract is on the market in powder, capsule, and liquid form. However, liquid extracts of pau d’arco are considered as a superior choice, because they include more of the active ingredients compared to the pill or powder. In addition, appropriate dosage may vary depending on factors like age and weight. Pau d’arcos liquid extract is available to purchase online.
Take 1-2 ml (28-56 drops) 1 to 2 times daily as needed, or as advised by your doctor or therapist. Take with water.
Take 2 capsules daily, or as advised by your doctor or therapist. Take with water.
Safety and Side Effects
Research on the long-term safety are lacking and largely unknown, as studies on its side effects are mostly limited to animals. However, there may be side effects.
These side effects include:
- Blood thinning
- Urine discoloration
- Reproductive damage
You should avoid pau d’arco extract if you’re taking blood thinners or are scheduled to undergo surgery, because it may thin your blood. In addition, don`t take it if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. It’s also vital to ensure that your product comes from a well respected manufacturer, such as Ecosh Life.
In conclusion, if you’re considering to try pau d’arco dietary supplement, first consult your physician.
NB! The information provided here is for informational purposes only, so do not consider it as health care or medical diagnosis and treatment. Do not consider this information as a guarantee of the results you want to achieve. In addition, this information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional.
Even more, you should not use it to diagnose or treat a health problem. Before changing or discontinuing your existing medication, treatment, or care, or taking any dietary supplements, be sure to consult with your healthcare professional or doctor before starting any diet or program, or if you suspect you may have a medical condition.
Compiled by: Maria-Helena Loik