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Pau D’Arco

(Tabebuia impetiginosa)

pau d'arco

This herb is derived from the inner bark of a tree found only in the mountains of the Andes. It has been used for centuries by local people but was only introduced to the West in the late 20th century.

The bark extract has analgesic, sedative, decongestant, diuretic, and hypotensive properties and it is being used experimentally for a number of ailments including diabetes.

It is also useful for quitting smokers, as it has the interesting property of promoting the expulsion of mucus and phlegm from the lungs. However, the supply is limited and this factor may limit the use of this herb.

It has also recently been found to have powerful and very specific anti-fungal properties and is now used internally to control growth of Candica albicans in the human gut and in other areas such as vaginal, anal and oral infections with this yeast-like organism. Pau D’Arco can be taken as a tea, starting with half a cup and working up to 4 cups a day in a month or so. It is also available in capsule form, and in this case suggested dosages should be followed.  As it exhibits no toxicity, intake may be continued indefinitely as a maintenance precaution to prevent re-infection with Candida. However, an initial and potentially unpleasant reaction to the yeast ‘die-off’ is to be expected (see Candida albicans).

Pau D’Arco tea has also been reported to control pain in cancer sufferers, to increase their red blood cell counts and even to be directly effective against cancer cells, but no formal clinical research appears to be available to confirm or contradict this.



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