Pau d’arco is an herb known by many names. The reason for this is simple: it was a deeply prized herb known by many of the indigenous tribes of South America. They were well aware of pau d’arco’s numerous health benefits and used for health problems.
Pau d’arco tea or tincture concoctions have had beneficial effects. South Americans use it for cancer. Candida albicans, a fungus which causes yeast infections, has also been treated by pau d’arco. Clinical studies also showed strong in vitro activity against various other bacteria, fungi, and yeast, including Aspergillus, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus, Helicobacter pylori (common cause of stomach ulcers), Bucella, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and dysentery. Antiviral properties have been displayed in vitro by pau d’arco against viruses such as herpes I and II, influenza, polio virus, and vesicular stomatitis virus.
Pau d’arco is also confirmed as being an antiparisitic against various parasites, including malaria, schistosoma, and trypanosoma. Additionally, the herb has even demonstrated usefulness as an anti-inflammatory. Pau d’arco bark has many active principles, mainly lapachol, quercetin, and other flavonoids. Once the pau d’arco inner bark is dried and shredded, it can be made into a tea which has a slight bitter or sour taste and is brownish-coloured.