Pau D’Arco…. the Revival of an Ancient
By Barbara Bourke (Nutritionist)
Cleansing and detoxing the
body is a priority and one of the most fundamental objectives for better health and wellbeing.
With this in mind Stride
into Health is always investigating and seeking out nutritional supplements helping you do to this task in a
healthy and most efficient manner.
This lead us to
investigate Pau D’ Arco.
Pau’D Arco also known as:
Divine Tree; Ipe; Ipe Roxo; Lapacho; Tabebuia Ipe; Taheebo;
Tahuari; Tajy; Trumpet Bark.
Tabebuia impetiginosa (also known as Tabebuia avelanedae, Tabebuia avellanedae or Tabebuia ipe) - this is the most commonly used
species for therapeutic purposes. Most of us know it simply as Pau
D’Arco or Taheebo. This medicinal plant has been used for many centuries by the Indio tribes of South America. Its
healing power was treasured by the ancient Incas and Aztecs as they knew about the plant great medicinal powers. I
accept that what the ancient civilization knew back then is of great value for all of us today.
Various species (yellow or purple flowering
trees) are grown in a wide geographical range from northern Mexico and southern Florida
south to northern
, including the Caribbean
islands of Hispaniola
) and Cuba
. The generic name is derived
from words used for the trees by the indigenous peoples of
All species belongs to the
Bignonia (Bignoniaceae) family.
They are large
shrubs or trees growing to 5 to 50 m (16 to 160 ft.) tall
depending on the genus. It is a rainforest tree and the inner bark from many species is used for health
purposes. It is ground and a tea is made from it, prompting some to nick name it “jungle juice” (1). Its taste
is described as sour/bitter (2)
Some varieties are also
used for its timber. It is very resistant and durable and used for this reason as a building material and for
furniture manufacturing (2)
The Story of Pau’D
Ancient civilization knew
the therapeutics of Pau D’Arco long before it came to our attention. However, originally much of the research into
Pau D’ Arcos for its uses was conducted in South America. The spread of the potentials of this plant increased
during the late 1960s and spread like wildfire throughout the country. Back then it was difficult to analyze the
strength of the active ingredients and folks would take it until they experienced a slight rush
Many of the early studies and anecdotal reports of the healing power of Pau D’ Arco
involved stories of successfully treating many different kinds of cancer. Numerous accounts of people being healed
emerged from around the country (1). Needless to say that orthodox medicine and the government tried to stop the
spread of the healing wonders of this plant. Advocates and practitioners using and spreading news of Pau D’Arco
“curing” cancer was soon banned and people threatened to be prosecuted. It took the scientific community some time
to realize there might be something to this folk remedy. However, not much was done about and it was banned by the
Medical College in 1969.
Pau D’Arco finally reached
the USA in 1981 and soon cancer “cures” spread all around the country and Canada.
Today, many of us are
rediscovering the great potential of this wonderful plant remedy. In being able to stimulate the immune system lays
its power to be helpful for countless ailments from Allergies to Zoster (Shingles or Herpes
Why how and when
should we use Pau D’Arco?
Some research and solid
practical evidence shows that Pau D’ Arco has been demonstrated to possess great health benefits. Some are listed
below, but by no means all inclusive:
Destroying and suppressing some
types of detrimental bacteria including: Escherichia coli, Helicobacter pylori,
including Candida albican.
May inhibit some types
of Viruses and may kill or suppress some types of Intestinal Parasites.
Pau D'Arco (tincture)
may treat Malaria
and can be used with success to treat colds, flu, sore throat and
is often regarded as a valued plant in alternative cancer treatment.
Infections pain, arthritis, fever, dysentery or as a
Folklore also claims
that it alleviates rheumatism and eczema and treats tuberculosis
For diabetes as it
inhibits the absorption of glucose in the intestines. (1)
Most health benefits a
due to the active ingredients Lapachol and/or Naphthoquinones content of Pau D’Arco as well as
quercetin, and other
flavonoids. Click here
to see other constituents of Pau D’Arco.
Forms of Pau d
The inner bark of the tree is used.
As with most herbs Pau
D’Arco can be taken as a tea, a powder, tinctures or as an extract.
As tea, in the case of Pau D’Arco,
the loosely coarser inner bark is used.
A powder is ground
finer and is stronger/concentrated than the tea and usually prepared the same way.
A tincture is an
An extract powder is
obtained from a substance by chemical or mechanical action, as by pressure,
distillation, or evaporation. This is the most concentrated form of any herbal substance.
How to use the Pau’D Arco
To make a drink from the powder
use a heaped teaspoon in a large cup of water. Bring to boil and let simmer or steep for 5 to 15 minutes; drink 3
cups a day. This means 3 heaped tsp of powder per day which is about 15 g. Don’t drink it too fast; sip
it. Powdered Pau D’Arco in capsules or cold water does not work. The powder must simmer or steep for the
advised time for the active ingredients from the Pau D’Arco bark to be extracted. When Candida, cancer or other health issues are
under control, half this dose would be enough as a longer-term maintenance. You can brew a days or several days
supply and leave it in the fridge.
For long term use, as in
cases of chronic diseases or in a long term cleaning/detoxification program I would recommend to rotate different antimicrobials. For this purpose you
might use and alternate between Lugol’s Solution, MMS, Olive leaf and Pau D’Arco.
To read about the
constituents of Pau D’Arco http://www.strideintohealth.com/Paudarco
Excessive dosages of Pau
D'Arco may cause Nausea or Vomiting.
If on blood thinners take
caution and check with your doctor for drug and herb interactions.
and nursing women should not take Pau D'Arco.
(1) Pau D'Arco: Immune Power from the Rain Forest by Kenneth
Johnes. To read about his book
(2) Find more info from Wikipedia
Encyclopaedia click here