Pau d arco
Pau d arco
Early cure-all - The Incas, the Callawaya in Brazil, and other Native South American peoples prized lapacho as a cure-all. They used it to treat a variety of conditions including wounds, fever, dysentery, intestinal inflammation, certain types of cancer, and snakebites.
Infections - Given the large number of active constituents in lapacho, it is not surprising that this beneficial herb is used in South America and by herbal practitioners throughout the world. It is an important, natural antibiotic for bacterial and viral infections, especially of the nose, mouth, and throat and is considered helpful for chronic conditions such as ME. Lapacho is also used to treat fungal conditions, including ringworm and yeast infections and is considered especially useful for treating chronic fungal conditions, including candidiasis.
Anti-inflammatory action - Lapacho reduces and relieves inflammatory problems, especially in the stomach and intestines. Lapacho is used to treat a wide range of inflammatory conditions, including cystitis, inflammation of the cervix, and prostatitis.
Cancer remedy - Lapacho is beneficial in the treatment of cancer, including leukemia. Clinical experience in Brazil, combined with its traditional use for cancer, suggests that lapacho should be more intensively researched for its therapeutic value in the treatment of this disease.
Other medical uses - Hantavirus, Toxic shock syndrome.
Antitumor properties - Pau d'Arco anticancer action is controversial, but research in Brazil, which started during the 1960s, indicates that the bark may be therapeutically useful in treating cancer and leukemia. Many of the herb's constituents playa part in counteracting the growth of tumors, notably pau d'arco, which inhibits the growth of tumor cells by preventing them from metabolizing oxygen.
Other research - Pau d'Arco is known to be strongly anti-inflammatory. It also counters the effects of diabetes (an action that is due in part to the constituent tecomine) and it lowers blood pressure.
The main active ingredient in this plant is the quinones, of which there are 18, the main ones being naphthoquinones, of which lapachol and a form of lapachone are some of the most important. The bioflavonoid quercetin, lapachenole, carnosol, indoles, coenzyme Q, alkaloids, and steroidal saponins.
HOW MUCH TO TAKE
Because the naphthaquinone active constituents are not water soluble, a tea from pau d'Arco bark is ineffective. Capsules or tablets providing 300 mg of powdered bark can be taken; usually three capsules are ingested three times per day.
SIDE EFFECTS AND CAUTIONS
High doses of lapachol can cause uncontrolled bleeding, nausea, and vomiting. Use of the whole bark is much safer than isolated lapachol-the whole bark has no known serious side effects. Pregnant or lactating women should avoid use of pau d'arco.
HOW IT WORKS IN THE BODY
Lapachol was isolated as early as 1882, and in 1956 its antibacterial action was confirmed by research in Brazil which makes Pao d' Arco a valuable natural antibiotic. Further tests showed derivatives of this constituent also had antifungal properties effective against ringworm, vaginal thrush, and gastrointestinal candidiasis. Carnosol is a strong antioxidant which mops up free radicals in the body, and is thought to be responsible for the reputation of Pao d' Arco as an anticarcinogenic. In addition, the indoles have been identified as being active in detoxifying the body from carcinogens. A form of lapachone has an antiviral action which has been used against viruses such as herpes simplex and polio, but has also been used against retroviruses which are particularly implicated in cancer, especially leukemia, and AIDS. Pao d' Arco also demonstrates activity against some tropical parasites, and the alkaloids show some evidence of benefit in diabetes. Its detoxifying element is used in skin complaints, and its anti-inflammatory action for conditions such as cystitis, prostatitis, and intestinal inflammation.
Great post Lois and a great herb.
I disagree with the writer only in it's effectiveness as a tea. Pau d'Arco has been used for centuries, as a tea, with great results. I have used it in that form and found it very useful. When using the tea it is also difficult to get large enough doses for side effects though it is possible to have side effects from any herb.
This is one I keep stocked at all times. It keeps well.
Mother, do you know how much we would have to use to replace the aspirin as a blood thinner? Or is there something better?
I'm not sure pau d' arco is a replacement for aspirin as a blood thinner. I can't find anything in my books on it and only willow bark as a substitute for it online so far. I did find this site that gave herbs for the heart that I found interesting though. It mentions willow bark as a substitute for blood thinners. Check it out, it's put out by Rodale Press.
Pau d arco
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