15 Feb Herb of the Month – Pau D’Arco
Pau D’Arco is a powerful anti fungal to suit the humid Sunshine Coast conditions!
Introducing Pau D’Arco (a.k.a Tabebuia avellanedae and Tab. impetiginosa).
You may have been taken by the physical beauty of this powerful plant medicine that is growing all over the Noosa Hinterland. Pau D’Arco is prized for its beautiful pink blooms, however it’s deeper appeal comes from the inner bark and heartwood. In Queensland we know it as the pink trumpet tree but its bark is known by many names and has been used in traditional South American medicine for centuries.
Of particular note are the celebrated anti fungal benefits of Pau D’Arco. In traditional medicine it has a long history as an antidote to candida, tinea and other fungal infections that thrive in wet, humid climates such as we find on the Sunshine Coast.
“Nature knows… and grows what we need, where we need it!”
Traditional Uses of Pau D’Arco
Pau D’arco grows throughout South America and is known by a variety of names including La Pacho and Ipe Roxo. It is considered a cure-all and is still used today to treat fungal infections, cold and flu symptoms, bacterial and viral infections, inflammatory conditions, parasites, skin diseases, fever, malaria, intestinal problems (dysentery and ulcers) and some cancers. Traditional healers have been preparing a tea from the inner back known as Taheebo or Lapacho which can be consumed as a drink or applied to the skin.
Since the 1960s Pau D’Arco’s active ingredients beta-lapachone and lapachol have gained attention for their anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-aging potential. Another exciting fact is that it has is also being studied for its weight reducing potential in post-menopausal women.
Is Pau D’Arco the right herb for you?
Maple St Acupuncture can let you know whether Pau D’Arco is the right herb for you. We stock it in the clinic and can blend it with other yummy herbs to best suit your unique constitution.
Common Names: Pau d’arco. La Pacho, Ipe Roxo
Habitat: Tabebuia avellanedae is native to South America
Parts Used: Bark (especially the inner bark), heartwood, leaves
Constituents: Napthoquinones (lapachol, highest in the inner bark), anthraquinones (CoQ10), menaquinone (vitamin K), bioflavonoids, iridoids, coumarins, alkaloids, steroidal saponins
Medicinal Actions: Antimicrobial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antineoplastic, cytotoxic, anti inflammatory, immunostimulant, depurative, antioxidant, oestrogen modulator, antimalarial, anti-tumour
Cautions: Pregnancy, bleeding disorders & for people on blood thinners (lapachol in high doses may prevent blood clotting), may lead to Vitamin K deficiency in large doses.
N.B. You will also have seen it’s butter yellow relative the Golden Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia chrysantha) and while there are many Tabebuia varieties it’s important to note that therapeutic properties vary between species.