- Get the facts on Pau d'Arco
Pau d'Arco Tea

Pau d'Arco History

Pau d'Arco is an ancient herb, used for centuries to treat ailments of many varieties, and to promote general health. The herb was popular amongst the ancient Incas, Aztecs, Indio tribes of Brazil and natives of South American rain forests, and was used as a cure for diseases and a tonic for strength and overall well-being. Toothaches, backaches and all kinds of diseases often found treatment in Pau d'Arco.

The term Pau d'Arco, translated from Portuguese (whose people had colonized Brazil), roughly means "bow tree." The name is fitting as the tree was used for that very purpose, as its wood was harvested to create various tools. While Pau d'Arco bark has many medicinal purposes, the Tabebuia tree's wood has also proved helpful.

Voislav Todorovic, a Yugoslavian scientist, claims to have evidence that both the Vikings and the Russians employed Pau d'Arco. Another of his claims is that in the late 1800's a Russian chemist produced a toothpaste containing lapacho, which was supposedly quite effective in preventing tooth decay.

E. Paterno isolated lapachol as the active ingredient in taheebo (Pau d'Arco) in 1884. Lapachol's chemical structure was established in 1896 by Samuel C. Hooker. Later, in 1927, Louis F. Fieser was able to synthesize the lapachol.

Pau d'Arco's medicinal qualities recaptured attention during the mid-1960's, when it was claimed by a Brazillian physician that the herb was able to relieve pain, increase red blood cell counts and cure illnesses, including cancer.

Since then, it has been further studied by researchers such as Dr. Walter Accorsi, Dr. Robert M. Nakamura and Dr. Theodoro Meyer, and has produced results showing its effectiveness. Books and articles have been prepared regarding the topic of Pau d'Arco, and even patents have been issued for one of its compounds, lapachol.

Since the 1980's, Pau d'Arco has been sold in health and wellness stores, as well as vitamin and supplement outlets. Today, with the rise of the Internet, Pau d'Arco can even be purchased online. Visit our Buying Pau d'Arco page to learn more about what is important to keep in mind when making the purchase, and where you can buy from quality manufacturers and distributors.

Pau d'arco may be purchased in teas, capsules, tablets, salves, liquid extracts, and powder. It is commonly known under many other names, such as lapacho, ipe roxo, taheebo, tahuari, and others.

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