Pau d'arco has a long and well-documented medicinal history of use by the indigenous peoples of the rainforest, forming an essential role in their armamentarium.
- Upregulates immune functioning
- Anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial
- Aids in treatment of Candida
- Cancer fighting
- Aids in treating respiratory ailments
Indications imply that its use of Pau d’Arco may actually predate the Incan civilization.
Pau d'arco is a huge canopy tree native to the Amazon. It is extremely valuable as medicine as well as timber, prized for its high-quality wood, which is some of the heaviest, most durable wood found in the tropics.
Several Indian tribes of the rainforest have used pau d'arco wood for centuries, naming the tree ‘tajy’, which means - to have strength and vigour. Warriors would often construct their hunting bows from the wood, the bark would also be used to treat many different conditions and as a tonic to put the same strength and vigour into their bodies that it put into their bows. Tribes living thousands of miles apart have used Pau D'Arco for the same medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. Guarani and Tupi Indians are reported to be the first to harness the benefits of the inner bark, which they used to treat malaria, respiratory problems, immune imbalances, fungal infections, fever, snakebite, boils, syphilis, and cancer.
When we look at the active ingredients and pharmacological effects we can see that the native people of the amazon basin were completely right in their traditional uses of this medicine.
The bark contains a large amount of chemicals known as quinoids, and a small quantity of benzenoids and flavonoids. These quinoids (and, chiefly, anthraquinones, furanonaphthoquinones, lapachones, and naphthoquinones) have shown the most documented biological activity and are seen to be the centre of the herb's efficacy as a natural remedy.
Of particular medicinal interest is lapachol that co-occurs with lapachone, they form covalent bonds with proteins and DNA. Various studies have shown definite antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal activity which proves its effectiveness in treating candida and other bacteria, fungal and viral overgrowth.
It also has cancer preventative activities which are ascribed to lapachol and lapachone which activate cancer fighting genes and trigger tumour cell death. Pau D'Arco also demonstrates non- specific immune stimulating effects due to the naphthoquinones even when taken in low doses. This sacred herb is also antinociceptive (pain- reducing) and antiedematogenic (reduces swelling).
1,5 - 3g 3 x per day in between meals - Maintenance
1-2 tsp x per day - Acute use: no more than 7 days
Powder: Handroanthus impetiginosus