"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"

by Herman Maiden
This site brought to you by The School of Natural Healing & Christopher Publications

Pau d’arco is cooling, biter, alterative, antibiotic, antifungal, antitumor, antiviral, antineoplastic, digestive, diuretic, fungicidal, antidiabetic, anodyne, analgesic, astringent, parasiticide and hypotensive.  Its constituents are lapachol, a quinone and a recognized antitumor agent found in the wood and barely in the bark.  According to H. Wagner, head of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology at the University of Munich in Germany, much of the basis for pau d’arco’s reputation is its immune-stimulating properties.  Quinones  are present throughout nature.  They are involved in the transference of hydrogen and electrons.


Lapachol, found in the inner bark, activates human immune cells (lymphocytes and granulocytes) in low concentrations.  Lymphocytes include cells that mediate immunological reactions, such as T-cells.  Granulocytes are white blood cells found in the blood that devour foreign cells and bacteria.  Lapachol is barely soluble in water.


The best quality pau d’arco comes from Argentina.  It has significant antifungal properties and has been shown in several studies to be effective at treating cancer.  Pau d’arco is a first-rate alterative and blood purifier and can be used for a variety of conditions including all skin diseases, for the treatment of the flu, herpes, and hepatitis; and for environmental allergies, asthma, and leukemia and pernicious anemia.


History records it use by the Callaway tribe, descendants of the Incas, for the treatment of cancer and a wide range of other diseases.  Its healing power was brought to the attention of the scientific community by Theodore Meyer and Prats Ruiz of Argentina.  According to Dr. Paulo Martin, a medical researcher for the Brazilian government.  Dr. Meyer learned of purple lapacho from the Callaway, using it on his patients and reporting complete cures for five leukemia victims.


In 1960, it use was taken up by the Municipal Hospital of Santo Andre’ where medical doctors used a brew of the bark on terminal cancer patients.  They reported that within thirty days of treatment using this herb, most patients no longer exhibited pain and many found their tumors also gone or greatly diminished. 


Reportedly since that time the bark has routinely been used at the Municipal Hospital of Santo Andre to treat leukemia as well as many other diseases suspected to b caused by viruses.  Both herb stores and regular pharmacies in Brazil now sell this bark.


Lapacho seems to first eliminate the pain caused by the disease and then

multiply the number of red corpuscles.  Thus the range of its curative action is phenomenal.  It is good for ulcers, diabetes, rheumatism, osteomyelitis, leukemia, various cancers, ringworm, bronchitis and other respiratory problems, gonorrhea, hemorrhages, cystitis, colitis, gastritis, Parkinson’s disease, arteriosclerosis, Hodgkin’s disease, lupus, polyps, prostates, leucorrhea, inflammation of the genital urinary tract and anemia.


Both Drs. James Duke of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Dr. Norman Fransworth of the University of Illinois agree that lapacho contains active substances found to be effective against cancers.


The quality of the bark can influence its effectiveness.  The most potent part of the tree is the inner bark, which must be aged after harvesting to maximize its effectiveness.  Many companies, however, try to sell the outer bark or harvest it from immature trees.


Pau d’arco is used for slowing and inhibiting the growth of cancers and tumors for skin diseases.


 Tea of the sifted inner-bark pieces is made by simmering one ounce in a pint of boiling water.  One cup is taken three or four times daily for acute conditions; for chronic conditions a half cup is taken three or four times dialy.  Of the tincture, 25-40 drops is taken three or more times daily.


Pau d’arco is used in the treatment of most fungal diseases, including thrush, athlete’s foot, nail fungus and ringworm.  For digestive improvements in colitis, gastritis and stomach ulcers, as part of an anti-inflammatory prostate healing combination; externally as a cream or ointment in the healing of old sores and lesions, and for diaper rash in babies; used externally as a cream or ointment in the healing of cold sores and bruises.  Pau d’arco has application in a pain relief program associated with arthritis and chemotherapy.  It may also be used as part of the treatment of diabetes.


Pau d’arco is a primary agent for immune enhancement and overcoming opportunistic disease, such as Candida albicans yeast overgrowth.  It is also an effective blood purifier against many toxic blood conditions, such as dermatitis and psoriasis.


Pau d’arco has a long and well documented history of use by the indigenous people of the rainforest.  Indications imply that its use may actually predate the Incas.  Throughout South America, tribes living thousands of miles apart have employed it for the same medicinal purposes for hundreds of years.  Several Indian tribes of the rainforest have used pau d'arco wood for centuries to make their hunting bows; their common names for the tree mean "bow stick" and "bow stem." The Guarani and Tupi Indians call the tree tajy, which means "to have strength and vigor." They use the bark to treat many different conditions and as a tonic for the same strength and vigor it puts into their bows. Pau d'arco is recorded to be used by forest inhabitants throughout the Amazon for malaria, anemia, colitis, respiratory problems, colds, cough, flu, fungal infections, fever, arthritis and rheumatism, snakebite, poor circulation, boils, syphilis, and cancer.


Pau d'arco also has a long history in herbal medicine around the world. In South American herbal medicine, it is considered to be astringent, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and laxative; it is used to treat ulcers, syphilis, urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal problems, candida and yeast infections, cancer, diabetes, prostatitis, constipation, and allergies. It is used in Brazilian herbal medicine for many conditions including cancer, leukemia, ulcers, diabetes, candida, rheumatism, arthritis, prostatitis, dysentery, stomatitis, and boils. In North American herbal medicine, pau d'arco is considered to be analgesic, antioxidant, antiparasitic, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and laxative, as well as to have anticancerous properties. It is used for fevers, infections, colds, flu, syphilis, urinary tract infections, cancer, respiratory problems, skin ulcerations, boils, dysentery, gastrointestinal problems of all kinds, arthritis, prostatitis, and circulation disturbances. Pau d'arco also is employed in herbal medicine systems in the United States for lupus, diabetes, ulcers, leukemia, allergies, liver disease, Hodgkin's disease, osteomyelitis, Parkinson's disease, and psoriasis, and is a popular natural remedy for candida and yeast infections. The recorded uses in European herbal medicine systems reveal that it is used in much the same way as in the United States, and for the same conditions.


Pau d' Arco has been revered by the Rainforest Indians for centuries. It is one of the most useful Brazilian herbs. It is called the "divine tree." It is helpful in rheumatism and arthritic inflammation, prostatitis, cystitis, and beneficial for controlling fungus and yeast overgrowth in the body. This multi-purpose herb helps prevent tumor formation and is thought to eliminate toxins and purify the blood. Pau d' Arco became very popular in 1967 after Dr. Walter Accorsi of the Municipal Hospital in Santo Andre talked to a magazine reporter who printed his story. He said:- "From my first experiments with Ipe Roxo (Pau d'Arco), I learned two important things which, greatly encouraged me in regards to cancer: First, that it eliminates the pain caused by the disease; and second, that it multiplies the number of red blood cells." This bark is used to treat stomatitis (swelling of the mucus membranes in the mouth), ulcers in the throat, gastric ulcers, syphilitic chancres, itchiness, wounds, eczema, and boils."


"Brazilians call pau d'arco the "divine tree." It helps to increase red blood cell production and helps respiratory disorders, ulcers, candida excess, and athlete's



Pau d'arco can fortify the blood, helps to dissolve phlegm and is an antifungal. Research in both the United States and South America shows that pau d'arco has ingredients found to be effective against some forms of cancer and parasites. It helps lower blood sugar levels and promotes digestion. Lapachol, from pau d'arco, was recently listed by Purdue University as among the most important antitumor agents from plants."


Pau d’arco fortifies blood, Antifungal activity, Combats Candida overgrowth.


Pau D'Arco tea has been revered by the Indians for centuries as one of the most useful Brazilian herbs. They call it the "Divine Tree'. It has been the subject of experiments with encouraging results. Dr. Walter Accorsi, in an article March 1967, states it multiplies the amount of red corpuscles. Experiments have been conducted at the Municipal Hospital at Santo Andre, Sao Paulo using Pau D'Arco in the treatment of respiratory problems, ulcers and a variety of other ailments. Pau D'Arco is highly regarded for its effectiveness in controlling Candida excess, dissolves phlegm, aids regulation of lung and stomach. Relieves stagnation in all meridians.


"Bitter herb that contains a natural antibacterial agent, has a healing effect, and cleans the blood. Good for candidiasis, smoker's cough, warts, all types of infection, diabetes, ulcers, rheumatism, allergies, tumors, AIDS, leukemia, cancer, and liver disease.  Resistant strains of Candida develop rapidly due to genetic mutation. Rotating treatment programs will be beneficial."

Brazilian uses and folklore says that if you stop any Brazilian on the street and ask him "What is Ipe Roxo?"... not only will he know immediately what you are talking about, he will begin to explain enthusiastically the wonders and uses of the tea made from the inner bark. Ipe Roxo is undoubtedly one of the most valued and useful of all Brazilian herbs. Used as a health tonic and revered by the Indians for centuries, Ipe Roxo first came to the attention of botanists and doctors about 100 years ago. Since then, the uses and wonders of this tree have been studied and prescribed. In March of 1967 "O Cruzeiro" magazine published an article about the results doctors were getting with the tea at the municipal hospital in Santo Andre, Sao Paulo. The article quotes Dr. Walter Accorsi, as stating: "From my first experiments with it [IPE ROXO], I learned two important things which greatly encouraged me in regard to cancer: Firstly, Pau D'Arco eliminates the pain caused by the disease; and secondly, it multiplies the amount of red corpuscle. Our amazement grew: This bark cured everything! Ulcers, diabetes, and rheumatism - the medicine cleared them all up". After the publication of this article, the demand for Ipe Roxo grew tenfold and today Ipe Roxo bark, extract and homeopathic mother tincture are to be found in health food stores, drugstores and pharmacies all over Brazil. Ipe Roxo can be taken alone, or with other herbal teas for which it acts as a catalyst. Par d’arco is influential in the treatment of symptoms of: cancer, diabetes, respiratory problems, ulcers, colitis, arthritis, rheumatism, poor circulation, prostatitis, cystitis, constipation."


Pau d' Arco is thought to eliminate toxins in the body and purify the blood, and it has anti-fungal properties. In an original weight loss research study performed in Chicago in 1992, I found that women's chronic yeast infections cleared up promptly when Pau d'Arco was added to the formula. Pau d'Arco also has anti-inflammatory characteristics, making it useful in the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. Some researchers report its ability to increase red blood cell counts and eliminate some symptoms associated with cancer.


During the past century, LaPacho has come under scientific scrutiny. The first active constituent to be studied was lapachol; however, it is interesting to note that many of the studies show significantly better results with the whole extract and diminishing effectiveness as the extracts are refined or individual chemicals are tested.


The native Indians of Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and other South American countries have used lapacho [T. impetiginosa] for medicinal purposes for thousands of years; there are indication that its use may actually antedate the Incas. Lapacho is applied externally and internally for the treatment of fevers, infections, colds, flu, dysentery, gastrointestinal problems of all kinds, debilitating conditions such as arthritis and prostatitis, and circulatory disturbances. Other conditions reportedly cured with lapacho include lupus, diabetes, Hodgkin's disease, osteomyelitis, Parkinson's disease and psoriasis.


Independent of Meyer, a Physician in Brazil, about 1960, after hearing a tale of its miraculous curative powers, used lapacho to treat his brother who was lying in a Santa Andre, Brazil hospital, dying of cancer. His brother recovered, and the physician, Dr. Orlando dei Santi, began to use the herb to treat cancer patients at the hospital. other physicians joined the team and after a few months, several cures were recorded. In the typical case, pain disappeared rapidly and sometimes complete remission was achieved in as little as four weeks. Because of the work at the Municipal Hospital of Santo Andre, lapacho has become a standard form of treatment for some kinds of cancer and for all kinds of infections in medical establishments throughout Brazil. It should be noted that after the first reports of "miraculous" herbal cures appeared in Brazil, the national government ordered a blackout of any more public statements by doctors involved in the research. The silence was finally broken by Alec De Montmorency, who in 1981 published a lengthy review of the ongoing clinical work in Brazil. This report succeeded in stimulating worldwide interest in the plant."

[Table of Contents] [History] [Location] [Chemical Constituents] [Medicinal Qualities]
[Contra-Indications] [Known Herbal Formulas] [Dosages & Applications] [Personal Experience] [Bibliography]