The Tabebuia, or Pau d'Arco is a large canopy tree that is native to the Amazon rain forest in Brazil. The tree can grow to 30 meters high and is known for its extravagant bloom of pink and violet flowers. While the tree is beautiful it is really the heartwood and inner bark of a particular species of the tree, the Tabebuia avellanedae, that is most prized. more...
Before you try Paudarco you should know what it is and where it comes from. Pau d'Arco is extracted from the inner bark of the Tabebuia Impetiginosa or Tabebuia Avellanedae trees. These trees are also known as Taheebo trees and are most commonly found in South America and sometimes in Central America. However, you can occasionally find them in Florida as well. Pau darco has been used throughout history by cultures such as the Incas, Aztecs and Indio tribes.
A tea or tincture of Pau d'Arco have been shown to have beneficial effects for those suffering from cancer. Claims have been made that the tea can help alleviate some symptoms of chemotherapy and even result in tumor remission. Dr. Daniel B. Mowrey has conducted extensive research on Pau d'Arco and has stated that "Lapacho has produced clinical anti-cancer effects without side effects." Lapacho is a derivitave of Pau d'arco.
Pau d'acro can also help fight the fungus Candida Albicans which results in the more commonly know yeast infection. Clinical studies of paudarco have shown a strong 'in vitro' effect against many other bacteria, fungi and yeast. In fact research has shown that pau darco exhibits antiviral properties against viruses such as herpes, influenza, polio and others.
Pau d'Arco has even been shown to be antiparisitic and can be effective against many parasites. It has even been shown to be useful as an anit-inflammatory.
The Pau d'Arco bark is dried, shredded and made into a tea which has a slightly bitter taste.
There is research on both sides of the pau d'arco issue. Some has indicated that Taheebo or pau d'arco is very effective at healing cancer, candida and other ailments while other studies have concluded that it is not effective at all and may even be toxic. There are definitely cautions to be aware of regarding Pau d'Arco.
Unfortunately, most of these studies differ in ways that make them difficult to compare. As an example, one study focused on one derivitave compound from the wood of the Tabebuia tree called Lapachol. This study found that Lapachol did possess some anti-cancer qualities. Another study looked at off-the-shelf pau d'arco and determined that it did not improve the health of its user at all. Yet another research project showed that Lapachol taken in large doses can possibly be toxic.
Confusing isn't it? That is why we recommend performing your own investigation of the evidence for and against pau d'arco and then deciding for yourself which path you should take. We have included an extensive reference list and links page to help you in this endeavor.
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Pau d'arco or Taheebo is not all created equally. If you go down to your local health food store you will probably find many different brands of Pau d'arco in many different forms such as liquid, capsule, tea, etc.
The unfortunate truth is that many of these products are not even true Pau d'arco.
Peruse the research and you will find that the Tabebuia Avellanedae is the effective species. Unfortunately, Tabebuia trees are sometimes harvested along with other rain forest trees that are used for lumber. All the trees are put on a truck and sent to the lumber mill. At the mill they have the bark shaved off and are cut into boards. Many times the sawdust is collected from the sawmill floor and that is what is used in the capsules and many teas that claim to be Pau d'arco. Sawdust is a cellulose compound and cannot even be broken down by the human digestive system.
Research has been done showing that some alleged Pau d'arco products actually contain only sawdust from other rain forest trees and no Pau d'arco. If you put your faith in these products to improve your health you are only wasting your money and, most importantly, your time.
The Pau d'arco you use must come from the inner bark of the correct species of tree and it must be processed properly. Pau d'arco in tea form seems to perform the best.