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Herb Reference Guide

Pau D'arco

History

Pau D'arco is sometimes called “Purple Trumpet Tree”, “Taheebo”, or “Lapacho”. It is widely distributed in South America and the Amazon Rainforest and notably used by indigenous tribes in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. It is a very large tree and can grow up to 125 feet high. Traditional use dates back to historical records of the Incas as used to make Bow's. It has been used as a traditional medicine by every native population that the tree grows for a wide variety of health concerns.

Function

The bark of the tree is used in traditional medicine and usually prepared as a tea. It is used as a blood alterative, to support immune function, to support a normal inflammatory response in the body and topically for skin conditions as well as promoting a naturally healthy microbial balance of the intestinal tract. Modern research has focused on a group of alkaloid constituents referred to collectively as Lapachols. Surely the tannin content and entire activity of the bark contributes to the activity.

Uses of Pau D'arco

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Dehydro-Alpha-Lapachone, Dehydroisolapachone, Lapachol

Parts Used

  • Bark

Important precautions

Not for use during pregnancy. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.

Additional Resources

Warashina T, Nagatani Y, Noro T. Constituents from the bark of Tabebuia impetiginosa. Phytochemistry. 2004 Jul;65(13):2003-11.