What is pau d'arco tea?

Pau d'arco is the common name for the tree scientifically named Tabebuia impetiginosa. Pau d'arco tea is made from the inner bark of the Tabebuia tree. The bark is noted for its medicinal benefits, and is used by many as a tea, but also in other forms such as powder, capsules, pills, and tincture. Its active ingredients include lapachol and quercetin, as well as other flavonoids (or "bioflavonoids").

What benefits does pau d'arco tea offer? It has been used as a prevention or treatment method for a variety of conditions and diseases:

Viral: It has been used in Brazil against both the common cold and the flu. In vitro, pau d'arco has shown antiviral properties against several viruses: influenza, polio virus, vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), and herpes I and II.

Bacterial: Pau d'arco is an antibacterial which can be used to fight off certain bacteria, including: Bucella, Aspergillus, Staphylococcus aureus (staph), Streptococcus (strep), tuberculosis (TB), pneumonia, Helicobacter pylori, and others.

Parasitic: Pau d'arco is an antiparasitic against several parasites: trypanosoma, malaria, schistosoma, and possibly others.

Fungal: Pau d'arco has antifungal properties, and can be used against fungus, such as Candida albicans (yeast infections, oral thrush, etc.).

Others: Pau d'arco can be used as an anti-inflammatory. It is also an expectorant and can thefore be used to assist in coughing up from the lungs to remove mucus or other unwanted things. The herb is also used to fight smoker's cough. It has also been known to be of some use in certain cases of: eczema, diabetes, liver disease, fever, skin disorders, and other conditions.

Still being studied: Study is still being done on pau d'arco benefits in other situations, some possibly including: cancer, HIV/AIDS, antibiotic use, fibromyalgia (FMS), myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME / CFS), and others. The link is the relation to the body's immune system, which is what pau d'arco is supposed to be most useful in assisting.

When purchasing pau d'arco tea be sure to buy from a reputed brand. It may be possible to receive so-called pau d'arco which does not include the inner bark, is diluted with something else, or doesn't even contain pau d'arco at all. Spending an extra dollar, or a few minutes of research, may be worth the investment. Also, consider that the herb has a diverse collection of names. Some of those are: taheebo, ipe roxo, lapacho morado, and golden trumpet tree, amongst many others.

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