Biological Name: Tabebuia impestiginosa
Other Names: Pau d’arco, Lapacho, taheebo
Parts Used: bark
Lapachol and beta-lapachone (known collectively as naphthaquinones) are two primary active compounds in pau d’arco. According to laboratory tests, both have antifungal properties as potent or more so than ketaconazole, a common antifungal drug. Although these compounds also have anticancer properties, the effective dosage for this effect is toxic. Therefore, pau d’arco cannot currently be recommended as a treatment for cancer.
Native peoples in Central and South America reportedly use pau d’arco bark to treat cancer, lupus, infectious diseases, wounds, and many other health conditions. Caribbean folk healers use the leaf of this tree in addition to the bark for the treatment of backache, toothache, sexually transmitted diseases, and as an aphrodisiac. It had been used as a folk remedy for the treatment of cancers.
Herbalists recommend the tea of Pau d’arco for problems ranging from osteomyelitis, ringworm, bronchitis, gastritis, colitis, cystitis, prostatitis, lupus and Hodgkin’s disease. Its primary value is in the elimination of the pain from any disease.
Also useful for the treatment of:
folk remedy for cancer
Various related species of pau d’arco trees grow in rain forests throughout Latin America.
In the rain forests these tress grows upwards of 100 feet with a trunk circumference exceeding four feet. The leaves are deciduous, opposite on yellow green stems. They have five elliptic leaves of unequal size that can either be lanceolate or ovate shaped. These leaves are uniquely placed in whorls comparable to the fingers of someone’s hand. The stems are dark green on top and yellowish green below.
The flowers vary in color depending on the species. They range in color from blue and yellow to magenta and purple. They have yellow throats and are either bell or funnel shaped.
Because the naphthaquinone active constituents are not water soluble, a tea from pau d’arco bark is ineffective. Capsules or tablets providing 300 mg of powdered bark can be taken; usually three capsules are ingested three times per day. A tincture can be used in the amount of 0.5-1 ml, three times per day.
To make Tea: Boil one quart water. Add two cups of crudely cut inner bark. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside and steep 1-1/2 hours. Strain and refrigerate.
Drink one cup 5 times daily on an empty stomach.
To be effective, the bark should come from mature trees. Many herbs in the market are found to have immature bark which is not effective or does not have active ingredients sufficient for the cure.
High doses of lapachol can cause uncontrolled bleeding, nausea, and vomiting.
Use of the whole bark is much safer than isolated lapachol—the whole bark has no known serious side effects. Pregnant or lactating women should avoid use of pau d’arco.
No other information available. Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.