Pau d’Arco herb belongs to the depurative herbs, known for purifying and detoxifying properties. It means the herb helps in getting rid of toxins or impurities inside the body. Also called Taheebo, it is native to Brazil and Argentina and was used for thousands of years by the Incas in South America. Before, it was topically applied to treat skin irritations. Pau d’Arco extract is derived from the inner bark or cortex of a Pau d’Arco tree. It contains an active chemical called lapachol, which gives the herb its reputed ability to boost immunity and fight off pathogenic microorganisms in the body.
Also known as the Divine Tree, this magical plant found in South American rainforests boasts wide varieties of invaluable medicinal properties. Among many medicinal bioactivities, its alleged medicinal uses include strengthening of immunity, maintaining balance of beneficial bacteria, aiding digestion and encouraging well-being. It is not only limited to boosting immunity and digestive health, it can also combat germs, reduce pain, relieve fluid retention and serve as a rich source of antioxidants.
Most of the chemical studies done on Pau d’Arco have used the wood and not the bark even though the inner bark has been long used traditionally for medicinal uses. Moreover, numerous Tabebuia species have been studied for anti-cancer and antimicrobial properties, not only T. avellanedae. Thus, it is hard to determine what findings may specifically applicable to Pau d’Arco. The heartwood or cortex of T. avellanedae contains active compounds called lapachol as well as important antioxidant called quercetin.
Scientists in all parts of the world have studied the active components of Pau d’Arco including the well-known lapachol and beta-lapachone. This canopy tree goes by numerous names, some of the most popular being Taheebo, Lapacho, Ipe Roxo, Tahuari and of course, Pau d’Arco. The process of collecting concentrated Pau d’Arco extract involves a meticulous procedure to preserve the active ingredients that mainly make-up the herb’s medicinal properties. The raw ingredient should also be thoroughly tested for potency and purity. The main active ingredients of Pau d’Arco need alcohol and heat to extract them since they are not quite water-soluble.
When using Pau d’Arco liquid extract, it is suggested to use a product rich in active and valuable phytochemicals that are naturally held by the plant. Indeed, the potency of the extract may depend on the raw Pau d’arco bark harvested. Thus, you have to purchase from a reliable and trusted store to ensure that you will get the potent finished product. The recommended dosage of Pau d’Arco extract is 20 to 40 drops mixed in water and should be taken 2 to 3 times a day.
A concentrated and pure Pau d’Arco liquid extract should not cause any adverse reactions to drugs, but it is better to consult your healthcare provider before using it. Pau d’Arco extract does not cause any side effects on a safe recommended dosage, but it should not be taken by nursing and pregnant women. Initially, it may cause mild nausea but most naturopathic doctors suggest this is only a temporary purging effect. Large doses of Pau d’Arco can cause gastrointestinal upset and/or severe nausea. Reduce the dosage if these symptoms develop. Never use high doses unless advised by a qualified herbalist or naturopathic doctor.