Also known as
Tabebuia impetiginosa, Tabgebuia avellanedae, Lapacho, and Taheebo
One of the best known, but least understood, herbs from the Amazonian rainforest, pau d'arco is a key ingredient in the tribal medicine chest, used as whole herb to treat infections, for pain, arthritis, fever, dysentery, and some reports suggest cancer. The pau d' arco tree is a huge canopy tree that grows up to 125 feet high, with pink to violet colored flowers. Its history of use is thought to go back to the Incas, and several tribes have been using it to make bows for centuries. Several native names in fact mean "bow stick" or "bow stem".
Lapachol, lapachone, and isolapachone are the best studied chemical compounds in pau d' arco, although most herbal practitioners attribute the healing power of the herb to its tannins.
Tea, tincture or encapsulation. Like cat's claw, pau d'arco tincture should be taken in water with a little lemon juice so tannins can be absorbed through the colon.
The scientific study of pau d'arco is still very preliminary. There is a great deal of practical evidence, however, that pau d'arco can be used with success to treat colds, flu, sore throat, and yeast infections, and there is laboratory evidence that the herb contains compounds that protect against tropical diseases, specifically malaria, schistosomiasis, and tropical fevers. The herb is added to ointments to treat psoriasis, and taken orally to relieve ulcers.
Research indicates that it may interfere with blood thinning drugs. Large amounts may be toxic.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This information courtesy of MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS, with full, written permission for reuse.