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Pau DArco – (Tabebuia impetiginosa)

Pau D'arco

The pau darco is an evergreen tree that grows in Central and South America. This broadleaf tree can reach a height of 125 feet and blooms with pink to violet flowers. Known as taheebo or lapacho in South America, this tree is also prized for its hardwood, which is used to make furniture. Pau d'arco is antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and slows abnormal cell growth.


Key Medicinal Uses

Internally – Pau darco is traditionally used to treat pain, arthritis, prostatitis, fever, boils and ulcers, dysentery and cancer of various types. Many herbalists recommend this herb for several conditions like herpes simplex, yeast infections, influenza, parasitic infections like schistosomiasis, malaria, bacterial infections like brucellosis and inflammation of the cervix and vagina.

This herb has been used to reduce fever, venereal diseases and rheumatism. Some people use it as an expectorant as well. Not only is pau d'arco proving to be helpful in causing cancer tumors to go into remission, but it is showing promise in helping patients recover from chemotherapy symptoms as well. In Peru, pau d'arco is also used to treat diabetes and to purify the blood. It stimulates the immune system and may be effective for some allergies.

Externally – Pau d'arco has been used for skin disorders like herpes, mange and eczema.

Other Uses – Pau d'arco wood is used to make fine furniture. Because of its attractive flowers, this tree is also used in landscaping.

Parts Used

Bark – The inner bark of the tree is used medicinally.


Similar to cat's claw, pau darco should be taken in water with lemon juice to help the tannins get absorbed through the colon. Read the label carefully. Not every herb that claims to be pau d'arco is from the Tabebuia trees. Excessive doses may cause nausea. There are no known drug interactions with the herb. This herb may have blood thinning effects on some people and cause anemia when used for a long time. Pregnant women should not use unless under the direction of a skilled practitioner.

Preparation and Dosage

Pau darco is available commercially as dried bark for herbal tea, an alcohol extract and a glycerin extract. To make a decoction, add 1 teaspoon of dried bark to 1 cup of water and boil it for 5 to 15 minutes. Drink a cup of this herbal tea from 2 to 8 times per day.

For extracts, follow the instructions on the label.

To take a tincture, put 20 to 3 drops into a little water with lemon juice and take it 2 to 3 times per day.

If you prefer capsules, take 1,000 mg three times per day.

Pau Darco Herbal Remedies Top