Health Benefits of Pau d’arco Tea

March 5th, 2013 by Loretta Lanphier

Health Benefits of Pau d’arco Tea

A native to South America, Pau d’arco (Tabebuia avellanedae), has been used in herbal medicine with a wide range of health concerns, including pain, arthritis, inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis), fever, dysentery, boils and ulcers, and various cancers. Other names for Pau d’arco include Ipe roxo, LaPacho, Tabebuia avellanedae and Taheboo tree. Even as early as 1873, there are reports of medicinal uses of Pau d’arco.

It is interesting to note that scientists have identified two active chemicals in the inner bark of Pau d’arco. These natural and active chemicals are called naphthoquinones: lapachol and beta-lapachone. In lab studies, lapachol has shown to have great potential of application in fighting metastasis.(1)  According to Dr. David Boothman, a professor at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and senior author of a study that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, beta-lapachone disrupts the cancer cell’s ability to repair its DNA, ultimately leading to the cell’s demise. Beta-lapachone and lapachol have also been found effective in killing certain types of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites as well as possessing anti-inflammatory properties(2). We must note that both lapachol and beta-lapachone have been studied as individual components; however, there is only a trace of lapachol in the bark. In it’s isolated form lapachol is quite aggressive, but in Pau d’arco tea, nature has brought together a concert of healing substances in the inner bark that act in a synergistic manner. It should in no way be limited to any individual substance. According to Walter Lubeck, author of The Healing Power of Pau D’Arco, “The very low concentrations of lapachol in tea extracted from the inner bark of the tree activate various immune cells in the human body, the lymphocytes and the granulocytes. Considerably higher concentrations of [lapachol] don’t have such a good effect in this regard.”

It is very important to take the time to make and drink Pau d’arco tea in its complete and natural form. The healing substances found within Pau d’arco are very significant. Bernhard Kreher a Munich researcher wrote his doctoral work on the immuno stimulating effects of Pau d’arco and found that the body’s defense system activity increased by more than 48% when Pau d’arco was regularly consumed.  Pau d’arco also contains selenium a powerful anti-oxidant that removes free radicals which can damage cells and trigger disease.

Pau d’arco tea has a holistic effect on the body, meaning the whole body is detoxified. Harmful toxic substances, including heavy metals, pesticides, preservatives and even the residue from chemotherapy may be thoroughly eliminated. Blood vessels, the lymph system, cells, tissue and organs are all detoxified allowing the body’s systems to function properly and efficiently.

Natural Health Benefits of Pau d’arco

  • anti-inflammatory
  • inhibits Candida albicans
  • preventative during cold and flu season
  • effective blood purifier
  • stimulates production of red blood cells
  • antioxidant properties
  • powerful anti-fungal
  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-microbial
  • anti-tumor effect
  • analgesic effect
  • fights parasites
  • anti-neoplastic
  • effective against e.coli
  • accelerates healing of skin wounds
  • strengthens immune system
  • protects against staph infection
  • toxic effect on leukemia cells
  • maintains regular bowel activity
  • helps respiratory disorders
  • good for allergies
  • useful for arthritis
  • useful for diabetes
  • dissolves phlegm

Brewing Instructions for Pau d’arco Tea

In a stainless steel or glass pot add 3 tablespoons of Pau d’arco to 1 quart/liter of water (try brewing a gallon at a time), bring the liquid to a full boil with the lid on. Then keeping the lid on reduce the heat so the tea is at a gentle boil for 25 minutes. Let it cool and pour through a funnel and tea strainer into sterilized bottles. One can sterilize any bottle by heating it in the oven at 225 degrees for 10 minutes. Refrigeration is optional as the strong anti bacterial properties in the tea prevent any spoiling.

It is recommended that if you are drinking the tea for cancer support that a minimum of four, eight ounce cups per day should be consumed. Maintenance is 2-3 cups per day.

The most important thing is to buy quality Pau d’arco. You want the correct species Tabebuia Avellanedae 100% inner bark in a fine grind. Be aware that all Pau d’arco is not the same and the best is a fine grind. The source that I recommend for Pau d’arco tea in North America and that directly imports from Brazil the correct species of fine grind inner bark is from Prince Imports.


1. Demonstration of the lapachol as a potential drug for reducing cancer metastasisBalassiano IT, De Paulo SA, Henriques Silva N, Cabral MC, da Gloria da Costa Carvalho M. Source:Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Laboratório de Controle da Expressão Gênica, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Bloco C, Cidade Universitária, CEP 21949-900, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.

2. Anti-inflammatory effects of beta-lapachone in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated BV2 microglia. Moon DO, Choi YH, Kim ND, Park YM, Kim GY.  Source:Faculty of Applied Marine Science, Cheju National University, Jeju, South Korea. Int Immunopharmacol. 2007 Apr;7(4):506-14. Epub 2007 Jan 16.

More Information

Walter Lubeck – author – The Healing Power of Pau d’Arco
Dr. Daniel B. Mowry, PhD – article – Into The Light

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