Pau d’arco, also known as lapacho or taheebo, has long been used as a medicine 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. That said, 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.
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. Therefore, you can use it to balance high blood pressure and to relief chronic fatigue.
6. Boosts immune system
As a preventative, it helps to build your immune system, because it stimulates the macrophages that fight diseases. 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 aids 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 napthoquinones seem to destroy certain disease causing bacteria, without destroying beneficial bacteria. This makes it an excellent natural antibiotic.
13. Colds, flu, cough, fever, herpes and hepatitis
Pau d’arco is very useful in treatment and relief of colds, flu, herpes and hepatitis because of it’s antiviral qualities. Therefore it might be an excellent alternative for synthetic cold and flu “treatments” that often only suppress symptoms without actually curing the cause. Or may carry the risk of unwanted, sometimes harmful, side effects e.g drowsiness, etc.
14. Liver function
It helps 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, has been registered as an effective natural remedy in healing tumors and abscesses. However, if to use it in the cancer treatment, the quantity of lapachol, found in pau d’ arco, needed to give an effective dosage, would be toxic if used as the individual treatment.
It can however, be used along with other cancer treatments.
Therefore, the government of Argentina offers pau d’arco to the leukemia and cancer patients for free. 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.
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.
Suggested dosage of liquid extracts:
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.
Suggested dosage of capsule form:
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.
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.
In conclusion, if you’re considering to try pau d’arco dietary supplement, first consult your physician.
Compiled by: Maria-Helena Loik