Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
Pau d’Arco (Tabebuia avellanedae) known also as Ipe Roxo, Lapacho, or Taheebo is a tree native to South America, where it has been traditionally used for a very long time to treat a wide range of health problems, including candida overgrowth or candidiasis (including vaginal and oral yeast infection), various types of cancer, infections, gastric ulcers, skin conditions, pain, arthritis, fever, inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis), dysentery, skin ulcers, leukaemia, respiratory infections (cold, flu, bronchitis, sinusitis, etc.), herpes simplex virus, bacterial infections including cystitis, etc.
By now scientists have managed to identify two key active chemicals in Pau d’Arco: Lapachol and Beta-lapachone. Both of them are naphthoquinones and in lab tests they able to kill viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Both of them have also demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties, and therefore are beneficial in treating various conditions associated with inflammation such as arthritis.
Pau d’Arco also contains significant amounts of the antioxidant quercetin which is beneficial in reducing oxidative stress in our body and is often used to reduce unpleasant symptoms associated with allergies, cold or flu as it has antihistamine properties.
It also seems to be effective in boosting the immune system and increase the activity of macrophages to fight with cancer cells.
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