What is Pau d’arco tea?

The tree where this tea comes from was used by South American natives to make their hunting weapons. The bark and wood are used to make medicinal infusions. In this post we will tell you what Pau d’arco tea is.

Also called lapacho or palo de arco, is a tree that grows in the jungle of Brazil, in the most humid part. Contains a compound attributed to properties beneficial for health. It reaches up to 30 meters in height, its leaves are evergreen and it also grows in the tropical forests of Argentina, Paraguay and Ecuador.

One of its characteristics is that its varieties present colored flowers such as yellow, blue, pink, green, etc. Because it is considered a powerful antibiotic and antifungal, its popularity is growing in herbalists.

Medicinal uses of Pau d’arco tea

Among the uses of Pau d’arco tea are:

  • The bark acts as an antibiotic and antifungal. Its naphthoquinones attack viruses, bacteria and fungi. In addition, it inhibits bacteria such as: staphylococci, streptococci, leishmaniasis, salmonella and candida.
  • Its bark is effective in healing infected wounds, eczema, canker sores, boils with pus and herpes simplex.
  • It acts as a natural antibiotic, fighting respiratory conditions, urinary tract infections and inflammation of the prostate.
  • Ointments, tinctures, and decoctions are used topically to relieve the pain of arthritis and gout attacks.
  • Lapacho is also used as a digestive tonic, relieving colic and diarrhea. In addition, it facilitates the movement of the intestines and the colon, favoring a comfortable evacuation.
  • It is antihemorrhagic, hypotensive and antianemic.
  • Studies attempt to verify that the plant treats various cancerous tumors and leukemia. However, the dose to combat it is potentially toxic.

Benefits of Pau d’arco tea

Among the benefits of Pau d’arco tea are:

Alleviate the pain

Studies indicate that lapacho tea naturally relieves pain associated with some types of cancers, such as breast, prostate, and liver. The bark of the Pau d’arco tree has antinociceptive and anti-edematogenic effects, that is, it reduces pain and swelling, respectively.

fight candida

Also known as candidiasis, which causes many health problems, such as a sore throat or stomach problems. When the body’s pH is altered, the symptoms of candidiasis skyrocket.

Reduces inflammation

The immune system is activated as a result of dietary and environmental toxins that the body accumulates, this is called inflammation, which is what triggers various diseases. Some of the inflammations in the body have to do with asthma, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s, cancer, high blood pressure, etc.

heals ulcers

Pau d’arco tea cures the symptoms of stomach ulcers, which are aggravated by stomach acid coming into contact with them. Studies reveal that palo de arco tea accelerates the healing of these ulcers, thanks to its acetic acid content.

fight cancer

It not only fights cancer, it also relieves the pain associated with it. The person responsible for this is due to beta-Lapachone, a compound found in lapacho tea. A study showed promise to apply this tea in chemotherapy treatments.

Antiviral and antifungal

Studies indicate that Pau d’arco tea inhibits and kills various viruses, including poliomyelitis, herpes, vesicular stomatitis, leukemia, among others. It also helps speed recovery from wounds or skin infections.

How to prepare Pau d’arco tea

You can prepare Pau d’arco tea, although it is important that you know that its consumption should be moderate.


  • Two sprigs of Pau d’arco tea.
  • A cup of water.
  • A teaspoon of honey.

To prepare it, follow these steps:

  1. Boil the water for 2 minutes.
  2. Turn off the flame and add the two sprigs of tea.
  3. Let infuse for 15 minutes.

Pau d’arco tea side effects

Understanding the side effects of Pau d’arco tea will help you avoid complications inherent in excessive consumption.


If you consume high doses of this grass (can also occur at low doses) the most common symptom that occurs is nausea. When these occur, vomiting occurs. To avoid them, try low doses first. When you prepare the infusion, drink it slowly.

bleeding and anemia

The lapacho herb can prevent blood from clotting, because it prevents the metabolization of vitamin K. If the bleeding is prolonged, it is likely that you are suffering from anemia. High doses of this herb can cause bleeding, much worse if you take blood thinners, clopidogrel, or aspirin.


Diarrhea can occur even with normal doses, although taken as a mild effect, it can lead to health complications over time, for example, nutrient deficiency, dehydration, and weight loss.

liver problems

Liver problems are not common, but it is a serious side effect. The person responsible for generating this problem is a toxic compound called hydroquinine. The key is to consume little of this tea.

Reaction with other compounds

If taken with other herbs, it is likely to cause serious or even fatal effects. As it is a quintessential blood thinner, it is best not to drink it along with prescription coagulants. Additionally, the risks may be increased if consumed together with turmeric, ginger, or willow bark.

Another risk of potential reactions is with the over-the-counter pain relievers, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

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