Pau d’arco benefits have been known within the indigenous tribes of South America for centuries. Pau d’arco is taken from the bark of a tree called taheebo and is used mainly for strengthening the immune system.
Sometimes called lapachol, the herb can be administered in a number of forms including capsules, extract, and tincture, but the most popular is the pau d’arco tea.
Pau d’arco benefits include:
- The treatment of a number of fungal and yeast infections. Studies have shown that pau d’arco has a strong antibacterial action that is effective against a number of different types of bacteria. The herb is particularly effective when these conditions have been aggravated by poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle.
- Alleviating symptoms of cancer and the side effects from various cancer treatments. A number of studies have been carried out which show it has benefits in these cases, though the research is continuing and the herb is not officially recognized as a cancer treatment.
- Pau d’arco has an antiviral action which can be helpful in cases of illnesses such as flu and herpes.
- The herb may also be useful in removing parasites from the system and, as such, is helpful in cases of diseases such as malaria.
- Pau d’arco has an anti-inflammatory effect which can help conditions such as arthritis and may help to control the pain associated with them.
- The bark is often made into a pau d’arco tea, which has a slightly bitter taste but is an effective remedy against coughs and colds, even easing respiratory problems which are aggravated by smoking. It has expectorant properties which allow the body to expel mucus from the airways.
- Pau d’arco benefits for the immune system are well known and could be particularly beneficial when treating illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome. It has antioxidant properties, which can help the body to fight of disease and infection.
- Skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema benefit from a course of treatment with pau d’arco.
- It has been used to clean the blood and to treat the symptoms of diabetes. It has a detoxifying effect which will help the body to keep itself clear of toxins.
For the maximum pau d’arco benefits, it is important to follow the recommended dosages.
There are some side effects associated with the herb such as nausea and stomach upsets. If you are taking prescription medication, then you should consult with your doctor before embarking on any course of herbal treatment to ensure that there will be no interaction.
The herb may have a blood thinning effect, which will be worsened if you are already taking medication to thin the blood. It is recommended to only follow a course of treatment with pau d’arco for six weeks, followed by a break of a month before restarting.
The risks of taking the herb during pregnancy are unknown, so it is recommended that expectant mothers do not use it.