Part Used: Dried inner bark (Paraguay)
Pau d’arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa) is an evergreen tree found in the rainforests of Central and South America. It is native to Brazil, where it is used traditionally to treat a wide range of conditions including pain, arthritis, inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis), fever, dysentery, boils and ulcers, and various cancers. In the Americas, Pau d'arco has a folk reputation as an anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent, especially for treating candida infections.
Preliminary laboratory research examining the properties of Pau d'arco is beginning to suggest that the traditional uses may have scientific merit. Such laboratory studies have shown that Pau d'arco has pain killing, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious, anti-psoriatic, and anti-cancer abilities. Herbalists may recommend Pau d'arco to treat or prevent a number of conditions, including candidiasis (a yeast infection of the vaginal or oral areas), herpes simplex virus, influenza, parasitic diseases such as schistosomiasis, bacterial infections such as brucellosis, and inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis) or the vagina (vaginitis). Pau d'arco may also reduce inflammation of the joints associated with arthritis. The inner bark of the plant is used by native tribes to treat cancer, lupus, infectious diseases, wounds, backache, toothache and sexually transmitted diseases. The medicinal value of Pau d'arco is thought to reside in certain compounds, called Naphthaquinones, in the inner bark. bNaphthaquinones enhance the immune system, cleanse the body and stimulate the production of red blood cells, which can increase the amount of oxygen the blood can carry contributing to healing.
American Cancer Society. http://cancer.ucsd.edu/Outreach/PublicEducation/CAMs/paudarco.asp
University of Maryland Medical Center. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/pau-darco-000268.htm
All Natural. http://www.allnatural.net/herbpages/pau-d-arco.shtml