Pau d’arco, also known as lapacho, is a canopy tree native to the Amazon. Used for hundreds of years by the natives as a building material, the tree also has many medicinal values. The benefits, however, are extracted from the inner and outer bark of the plant, as opposed to the leaves like many other herbs. There are several different species of pau d’arco available, but only one, Tabebuia impetiginosa or Tabgebuia avellanedae, has the most potent health benefits. Be sure to check the label to ensure you have the correct variety before purchasing for the best results.
The tree’s active chemical compounds, lapachol and beta lapachone, have been extensively tested and proven effective in treating a wide variety of different ailments. The entire plant, as opposed to just the active ingredients, has been shown to be more effective in fighting disease.
Extensive testing has revealed that pau d’arco is anticancer, antileukemic, and antitumor, making it an excellent supplement for anyone suffering from any type of cancer. However, one of the most potent and important properties of the tree is its powerful antifungal powers. It’s so effective that mold and fungus won’t even form on the tree. This makes it an excellent cure for fungus like athlete’s foot, candida, and other fungal infections.
Making pau’darco tea is as easy as boiling water and straining it. Simply add 1 liter of distilled water to 4 teaspoons of dried pau d’arco bark. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Drink immediately for best results. Consume 2 to 8 times a day, depending on the desired efficacy.
Alternatively, the tea can be used as an enema or douche to treat yeast infections. The tea can also be applied topically to treat skin infections and irritations. Simply soak a washcloth in the tea, then hold it against the affected area for about 10 minutes, several times a day or until the infection has cleared up.
Like any other herb or medication, pau d’arco should not be taken if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are nursing. Always consult with a licensed herbalist before consuming to discuss the herb and whether it is right for you. Talk to your doctor to make sure the herb doesn’t conflict with any other medications you’re taking.