Pau d’Arco Benefits, Dosage, And How to Use

8 min read
May 18, 2024
Pau d’Arco Benefits, Dosage, And How to Use

For for than a thousand years, people have utilized the powerful plant known as Rub d'arco for medicinal purposes, mostly to treat pain, inflammation, and infections.

Discover the advantages of pau d'arco, the best dosages to use, and useful advice on utilizing this herbal medication to improve your health and wellbeing.

What is pau d’arco?

The Portuguese term "pau d'arco," which translates to "bow tree," describes the inner bark of a number of Central and South American Tabebuia tree species. The tree itself is sometimes referred to by the same name alternately.

Lapacho, taheebo bark, ipe roxo, trumpet tree, heavenly tree, poui, or lapacho baum are some other common names for pau d'arco.

The inner bark of the pau d'arco tree is highly valued for its therapeutic qualities, as it contains a diverse range of bioactive chemicals such as beta-lapachone and lapachol.

In the past, pau d'arco has been used to treat a wide range of illnesses, such as diabetes, syphilis, gastrointestinal problems, bacterial and fungal infections, and allergies.

This herbal medicine is also said to help with pain relief, memory enhancement, and the reduction of irritation, melancholy, and anxiety.

6 health benefits of pau d’arco 

A lot of research has been done on the purported medicinal benefits of dau d'arco.

These are the six possible advantages of utilizing pau d'arco.

1. Reduces inflammation

Because of the high amounts of phenolic chemicals and naphthoquinones in pau d'arco, it can help reduce inflammation.

Lapachol, alpha-lapachone, and beta-lapachone are examples of naphthoquinones that have been shown to suppress inflammatory agents, such as prostaglandin E2 and cyclooxygenase-2.

Furthermore, the phenolic components of pau d'arco, such as acteoside and isoacteoside, have the ability to control the activity of inflammatory cytokines.

Signaling molecules called cytokines have the ability to both initiate and maintain inflammation. Additionally, these substances have an impact on a number of biological pathways related to immune system and gene expression.

In pau d'arco, naphthoquinones and phenolic chemicals work in concert to reduce inflammation and its accompanying symptoms, including pain, swelling, fever, redness, and stiffness. This could have beneficial therapeutic effects for inflammatory diseases.

The Journal of Ethnopharmacology recently released a study that examined the anti-inflammatory properties of pau d'arco in mice. "Pau d'arco extract may be developed as a new therapeutic remedy for various inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and atherosclerosis," the researchers stated.

2. Natural pain relief

One of the most often used pharmaceuticals in the world is an over-the-counter pain reliever. Nevertheless, these medications may result in hypertension, kidney troubles, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular difficulties, and elevated blood pressure.

Natural pain relief
Natural pain relief

Puu d'arco has been demonstrated to help lessen the pain associated with inflammatory diseases like arthritis and menstrual cramps by lowering the activity of inflammatory cytokines.

Pau d'arco is a promising and maybe safer natural alternative for treating pain because it has comparable pain-relieving benefits to traditional opioids but a lower risk of side effects.

3. Potent antimicrobial remedy 

According to Dr. Berg, "Thanks to its strong antibacterial and antifungal properties, pau d'arco can be used to treat microbial infections such as oral thrush, candidiasis, and certain skin infections."

A study that was published in the Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials has validated this, demonstrating the strong antibacterial activity of pau d'arco in an in vivo cutaneous irritability examination.

The results showed that lapachol is especially useful against germs that are resistant to antibiotics, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA is a dangerous bacteria that can cause life-threatening infections, pneumonia, sepsis, and even death if treatment is not received.

4. Strengthens immune defenses

A strong immune system is necessary to fend off infections and keep the body healthy.

A study that was written up in the Arabian Journal of Chemistry discovered that quercetin, a strong flavonoid with immunomodulatory qualities, is abundant in pau d'arco.

The excellent immune-enhancing capabilities of Tabebuia impetiginosa extract have been confirmed by a study published in Molecules.

The authors propose that pau d'arco enhanced the functionality of white blood cells. Due to their ability to eliminate dangerous germs, these cells are essential for immunity.

Furthermore, the activity of T-cells, a subset of immune cells involved in the body's adaptive immunological response, was efficiently controlled by pau d'arco ethanol extracts.

Pau d'arco may help avoid an overreaction to immunological stimuli, which can result in autoimmune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease, by encouraging balanced T-cell numbers.

5. Potential anti-cancer properties

Pau d'arco might be useful in preventing cancer.

According to a review research that was published in Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents, the naphthoquinones in pau d'arco showed strong anti-cancer properties against a range of cancer cell lines.

An extract of Tabebuia impetiginosa was discovered to be able to inhibit the growth of multiple in vitro cancer cells, including cervical, hepatic, breast, and lung carcinomas, according to a different study published in Molecules.

The health-promoting fatty acid oleic acid, which is prevalent in olive oil, is also present in papa d'arco.

The study "Oleic acid significantly inhibited cell proliferation and tumor growth in endometrial cancer cells," which was published in Cancers, adds more evidence to the potential benefits of pau d'arco as a natural supplement to conventional cancer treatment.

6. May support weight loss

The American Journal of Chinese Medicine released a study that examined the use of pau d'arco in managing and preventing obesity.

By decreasing the weight of white adipose tissue, the body's main location for storing fat, the researchers discovered that administering beta-lapachone to obese mice prevented them from gaining weight.

The study also showed that thermogenesis might be induced by beta-lapachone. This process includes the body producing heat, which may have an impact on how much energy is used and how much weight is managed.

How to use pau d’arco

There are several ways to consume Pau d'arco: as nutritional supplements, loose powders, liquid bark extracts, topical treatments, and teas.

One or two teaspoons of pau d'arco bark should steep in eight ounces (240 milliliters) of hot water for approximately fifteen minutes in order to prepare pau d'arco tea.

How to use pau d’arco
How to use pau d’arco

You can counteract the tea's earthy, slightly bitter flavor by adding honey or lemon.

These three pointers can assist you in locating superior pau d'arco merchandise.

1. Research the brand

Select a company that is open about its sourcing and production procedures and has a solid track record of creating herbal supplements of the highest caliber.

2. Check for third-party testing

Reputable businesses frequently test their products by third parties to determine their potency and purity. This guarantees the supplement is free of impurities and contains the desired ingredients.

3. Read labels carefully

Verify the product's label to make sure it only contains pure pau d'arco bark and doesn't include any additives or fillers. It's important to note which kind of Tabebuia tree bark was used on the label because some are stronger than others.

Pau d’arco dosage

A daily dosage of 1050 mg of encapsulated Tabebuia avellanedae bark extract was shown to be generally safe and well-tolerated in healthy women who were having menstrual cramps, according to a study published by HHS Public Access.

To reduce the possibility of adverse effects, it is advisable to speak with a healthcare provider before introducing pau d'arco into your regimen, as there is no set suggested dosage.

Potential downsides of pau d’arco

When used as directed, papau d'arco is usually regarded as safe, while some individuals may experience adverse effects. Among the side effects that have been reported include indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting, and disorientation.

Allergy responses may happen in extreme circumstances. Before using pau d'arco, people who are allergic to plants in the Bignoniaceae family should use caution and speak with a healthcare provider.

Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that high dosages of pau d'arco decrease blood coagulation, which may cause excessive bleeding in people on blood thinners or in people with blood-related conditions.

Due to inadequate safety information, women who are nursing or pregnant should likewise refrain from using pau d'arco.

Key takeaways

To sum up, the inner bark of the Tabebuia tree is the source of pau d'arco, which has a high concentration of naphthoquinones, phenolic compounds, and antioxidants that may have various health benefits.

The benefits of pau d'arco are well-known and include pain relief, immune-boosting qualities, antibacterial and antifungal effects, and possibly a decreased risk of certain malignancies.

Despite being generally safe, pau d'arco may interact with some drugs and cause negative effects. Before using, people with bleeding disorders, expectant mothers, and nursing mothers should speak with a healthcare professional.


Frequently asked questions

What’s pau d’arco?

The inner bark of the Tabebuia tree, commonly referred to as the pau d'arco tree, which is native to Central and South America, is used to make the herbal supplement pau d'arco.

This natural treatment is well known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal effects. It contains various therapeutic ingredients, such as naphthoquinones, phenolic compounds, and antioxidants.

What are the benefits of pau d’arco?

The anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and analgesic qualities of pau d'arco may aid in the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections as well as bolster immune system performance.

Pau d'arco has the ability to reduce the risk of several types of cancer and help treat ailments like menstrual cramps, arthritis, oral thrush, and candidiasis.

Who shouldn’t take pau d’arco?

Unless authorized by their healthcare professional, individuals who are taking blood thinners, have bleeding disorders, or are pregnant or nursing moms should refrain from consuming pau d'arco.

Before using pau d'arco, people who have a history of allergies to plants in the Bignoniaceae family should use caution and speak with a healthcare provider.

Is pau d’arco an antioxidant?

Antioxidants like quercetin and other flavonoids found in papa d'arco may help shield cells from oxidative damage brought on by free radicals. 

How much pau d’arco should I take?

While dosages can differ, a research found that in healthy women experiencing menstrual cramps, 1050 mg of pau d'arco per day was generally safe and well-tolerated.

But since there isn't a set amount of pau d'arco supplements that is advised, it is preferable to speak with a healthcare provider for specific advice.

What are other names for pau d’arco?

Lapacho, taheebo, ipe roxo, pink ipê, pink lapacho, trumpet bush, and trumpet tree are some more frequent names for pau d'arco. Depending on the area and various characteristics or species of the Tabebuia tree, these names may change.

Can I use the flowers or leaves of the pau d’arco tree? 

Beautiful flowers are produced by pau d'arco trees. Although pau d'arco leaves and blossoms have long been used as natural treatments, little scientific research has been done on their safety or impact on human health.

It is not advised to eat pau d'arco flowers or leaves unless directed to do so by a healthcare provider, as some Tabebuia species can be toxic.