PAU D'ARCO LOOSE TEA
Pau d’arco is an herb known by many names. The reason for this is simple: it
was a deeply prized herb known by many of the indigenous tribes of South
America. They were well aware of pau d’arco’s numerous health benefits and
used for health problems.
Pau d’arco tea or tincture concoctions have had beneficial effects. South
Americans use it for cancer. Candida albicans, a fungus which causes yeast
infections, has also been treated by the pau d’arco herb. Clinical studies
also showed strong in vitro activity against various other bacteria, fungi
and yeast, including: Aspergillus, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus,
Helicobacter pylori (common cause of stomach ulcers), Bucella, tuberculosis,
pneumonia, and dysentery. Antiviral properties have been displayed in vitro
by pau d’arco against viruses such as herpes I and II, influenza, polio
virus and vesicular stomatitis virus.
Pau d’arco is also confirmed as being an antiparisitic against various
parasites, including malaria, schistosoma, and trypanosoma. Additionally,
the herb has even demonstrated usefulness as an anti-inflammatory. Pau
d’arco bark has active principles, mainly lapachol, quercetin and other
flavonoids. Once the pau d’arco inner bark is dried and shredded it can be
made into a tea which has a slight bitter or sour taste, and is
The Pau D’Arco tree is a tropical evergreen that grows in Central America,
South America and the Caribbean. The medicinal effects of Pau D’Arco are
attributed to lapachol. Testing by the US cancer institute show that
lapachol can prevent, delay and treat cancer. However lapachol may be toxic
in doses that are needed to have an anticancer effect.
Pau D’Arco has also been found to have antiviral activity against herpes,
the virus that causes cold sores, and anti-protozoal activity against
malaria. Topically, Pau D’Arco tea can be used to treat bacterial and fungal
infections, insect or snakebites, minor skin injuries and psoriasis.
Pau D’Arco’s most medicinally effective part is the inner bark.
Unfortunately harvesting the inner bark often results in the death of the
tree. Increased demand for this tree has made Pau D’Arco an endangered
species in some South and Central American countries. You may want to
inquire as to the harvesting practices the company that provides the raw
material for you.
Pau D’Arco supplements are made from a variety of species in the genus
Tahebuia. Some supplements are made from the inner bark while others are a
mixture of the bark with other less active plant parts. Few Pau D’Arco
supplements are standardized to the lapachol content. All of these factors
make it difficult to use Pau D’Arco safely. Due to the toxicity of lapachol
internal use of Pau D’Arco is best undertaken with the guidance of a health
professional. Pau D’Arco is available as dried bark, for tea, and
encapsulated tree parts. Tea is traditionally used for its medicinal
properties but very few of the medicinally active components of Pau D’Arco
are water-soluble. Encapsulated dried bark, that is standardized, is the
best supplemental form of Pau D’Arco.
Individuals with active bleeding or blood disorders should not use pau
d’arco. Pau D’Arco interacts with blood thinners, aspirin and any herbal
product that thins the blood. Pau D’Arco is not safe for use in pregnant and
nursing women. High doses of lapachol can lead to anemia, diarrhea,
dizziness, nausea and vomiting.