Scientific Name: Handroanthus impetiginosus (Mart. ex DC.) Mattos; Bigoneacea
Family: Bignoniaceae (1)
Genus: Tabebuia (1)
Synonyms: Tabebuia avellanedae, T. ipe, T. nicaraguensis, T. schunkeuigoi, T. serratifolia, T. altissima, T. palmeri, Gelseminum avellanedae, Handroanthus avellanedae, H. impetiginosus, Tecoma adenophylla, Tecoma avellanedae, Tecoma eximia, Tecoma impetiginosa, Tecoma integra, Tecoma ipe (1)
Common Names: Pau d'arco, ipê, ipê roxo, lapacho, tahuari, taheebo, pink trumpet tree, ipê-contra-sarna, tabebuia ipê, tajy, purple or red tabebuia (1)
Part Used: Bark, wood (1)
Main Preparation Method: tincture or decoction (1)
Botanical name (synonym): Tabebuia impetiginosa (1)
Tabebuia impetiginosa is a towering deciduous tree native to tropical regions of the Americas. Pau d’arco is used for its inner bark, referred to as “taheebo” or “lapacho”. This tree bark has been employed for thousands of years in the traditional healing practices of native tribes throughout these regions, including the Incas who also made bows out of the tree. (2)
Pau D’arco is made from the inner bark of several species
of Tabebuia trees that grow in Central and South America. (3)
Ascorbic acid, chromium, iodine, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, silicon, zinc, napthaquinones, flavonoids, carnosol, lapachenole, indoles, alkaloids, coenzyme Q10, steroidal saponins. (4)
Several compounds called naphthoquinones — mainly lapachol and beta-lapachone — have been isolated from this inner bark and are thought responsible for its purported benefits.
Pau D’arco is native to South and Central America (specifically Brazil). It is not native to North America but grows in the warm parts of the country. Pau D’arco is derived from the inner bark of several species of Tabebuia trees. (5)
The tree grows up to 125 feet high, has purple, pink, and yellow flowers, and pod-like fruits. The best quality Pau D'Arco is said to come from Argentina. The most potent part is the inner bark, which must be aged after harvesting to maximize its effectiveness. (5)
AYURVEDIC HERBAL ENERGETICS
Dosha effect: PK- V+ (6)
Rasa: tikta, kashaya, katu
Gunas: laghu, ruksha, sara
DHATUS AND SROTAS
Rasavahasrotas, raktavahasrotas, pranavahasrotas, purishavahasrotas
KARMAS OF PAU D’ARCO
Alterative, antipyretic, antibiotic (6)
Pau D'Arco has been used by South and Central American indigenous peoples to treat skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, fungal infections, and cancer.
It was a primary medicine used by the Inca's and their descendants, the Callaway tribe. The name "Pau d' Arco" is Portuguese for "bow tree", an appropriate name after its use by the people of Brazil in make hunting bows.
In 1960, the use of Pau D'Arco was taken up in the Municipal Hospital of Santo Andre and used in the treatment of cancer patients. Today, the herb is sold in herb stores and regular pharmacies throughout Brazil. (1)
Enhances immune system function. Pau D’arco bark can be tinctured, incorporated into topical skin care regimes, or decocted as Pau D’arco tea.
Anti-tumor: inhibits the growth of tumors
Anti-cancer: inhibits the growth of cancer cells
Anti-coagulant: thins blood
Anti-viral: destroys and inhibits the spread of viruses.
Anti-bacterial: destroys and inhibits the growth of bacteria
Anti-fungal: destroys and inhibits the growth of fungus
Alterative: increase health and vitality by gradually restoring alignment to functions of the body.
Antibiotic: destroys and inhibits the growth of micro-organisms Anti-depressive: elevates mood
Antipsoratic: prevents and counters psoriasis
Astringent: tones and tightens the connective tissue of the skin Anti-diabetic: creates insulin to balance glucose levels Anti-parasitic: kills parasites
Analgesic: relieves pain
Digestive: aids in digestion
Diuretic: increases the production and secretion of urine Depurative: purifying and detoxifying, especially the blood Hypotensive: Lowers blood pressure
Laxative: loosen stools and increase bowel movements
Pau d'Arco boosts immune system response and function.
Used for infections, especially for candida and other yeast infections.
Urinary tract infections
Bacteria infections, such as brucellosis
Viral infections including influenza
Beneficial for dysentery, fevers, malaria, and ulcers.
Used for slowing and inhibiting the growth of cancer and tumors, especially leukemia.
Aids in the prevention and treatment of Liver disease, Hodgkin's disease, osteomyelitis, Parkinson's disease.
Used in the treatment of fungal infections, including: thrush, athlete's foot, nail fungus, ringworm.
Used in the treatment against chronic diseases, including: Diabetes, lupus, HIV, ulcers, herpes, hepatitis.
Allergies, recommended to combine Pau D'Arco with burdock to cleanse the blood during an allergic reaction or sudden skin flare up.
Sexually transmitted infections Allergies
Used in pain relief for Arthritis and chemotherapy
Stimulates blood circulation Purifies the blood
Increases red blood cell count
Used in the treatment of colitis, gastritis, and stomach ulcers. Treats enlarged prostate.
Urinary tract infections
Gastrointestinal problems of all kinds
Parasitic diseases such as schistosomiasis Stomach ulcers
Asthma Bronchitis Cough
Used in the treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including: HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis.
Has the ability to remove heavy metals from the body.
Aids well in the detoxification process carried out by the liver and lymphatic organs.
Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder Osteoarthritis, cause by the wear and tear on joints
Heals skin wounds and protects against infection. eczema, psoriasis, fungal infections.
Assists in external skin ailments such as warts, boils, ringworm, impetigo, cold sores, athlete's foot, and staph infections.
Effective in treating dermatitis and psoriasis when taken internally and topically.
Apply topically for the healing of sores, lesions, diaper rash, bruises.
May have abortifacient properties, and cause toxicity to the reproductive organs in high doses.
Research on Pau D'arco's naphthoquinones constituents suggest that this herb may be contraindicated when using anticoagulants. Do not use Pau D'arco while taking anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs, blood thinning drugs, such as Warfarin (Coumadin), Clopidogrel (Plavix), and Aspirin. Taking Pau D'arco with these may increase the risk of bleeding.
Consult a physician before using during pregnancy, because the herb may have abortifacient properties, it is likely unsafe to use internally when pregnant. But may be well tolerated when used topically for skin conditions in small doses. Pau D'arco should NOT be given to infants or children.
May slow blood clotting and could increase the chance of bleeding during or after surgery. Stop using at least two weeks before scheduled surgery.
Taking Pau D’Arco along with medications that slow blood clotting could increase the chances of bruising or bleeding.
Large amounts of lapachol (greater than 1.5g per day) may be toxic. side effects may include anemia, nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness. If these symptoms occur, discontinue or lower dose. High doses can cause uncontrolled bleeding and vomiting.
1. https://www.rain-tree.com/paudarco.htm 2. https://mountainroseherbs.com/pau-darco
3. Lapachol and lapachone analogs: a journey of two decades of patent research (1997-2016) <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28586252/>
4. North American Nighantu Manual by Nicole Herbert with Alakananda Ma
6. Lad., V. and Frawley., D., 2001. The Yoga Of Herbs. Lanham: Lotus Press, p.210