Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Find a Vitamin or Supplement

PAU D'ARCO

Other Names:

Bignonia heptaphylla, Ébénier de Guyane, Ébène Vert, Handroanthus impetiginosus, Ipe, Ipe Roxo, Ipes, Lapacho, Lapacho Colorado, Lapacho Morado, Lébène, Pink Trumpet Tree, Purple Lapacho, Quebracho, Red Lapacho, Tabebuia avellanedae, Tabebuia he...
See All Names

PAU D'ARCO Overview
PAU D'ARCO Uses
PAU D'ARCO Side Effects
PAU D'ARCO Interactions
PAU D'ARCO Dosing
PAU D'ARCO Overview Information

Pau d'arco is a tree with extremely hard wood. Its name is the Portuguese word for “bow stick,” an appropriate term considering the tree’s use by the native South American Indians for making hunting bows. The bark and wood are used to make medicine.

Though possibly unsafe, especially at higher doses, pau d'arco is used to treat a wide range of infections. These include viral respiratory infections such as the common cold, flu, and H1N1 (swine) flu; sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and syphilis; infections of the prostate and bladder; ringworm and other parasitic infections; yeast infections; and infectious diarrhea.

Pau d’arco is also used for cancer. Interest in this use was intensified by extensive research in the 1960s that focused on the possible anti-cancer activity of lapachol, one of the chemicals in pau d’arco. However, research studies were stopped because, at the amounts needed to be effective against cancer, pau d’arco might well be poisonous. Among other things, it can cause severe internal bleeding.

Other uses for pau d’arco include diabetes, ulcers, stomach inflammation (gastritis), liver ailments, asthma, bronchitis, joint pain, hernias, boils, and wounds. Because some people see pau d’arco as a “tonic and blood builder,” it is also used to treat anemia.

Pau d'arco is applied directly to the skin for Candida yeast infections.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what is in pau d’arco products. Teas, labeled as pau d'arco or lapacho, do not always contain pau d’arco (Tabebuia species). In some cases, they contain the related species, Tecoma curialis. Additionally, some product labels state that the product contains the inner bark of pau d’arco, which is thought by some people to be more effective than outer bark, when in fact the product contains outer bark.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information available to know how pau d'arco works.

PAU D'ARCO Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Yeast infections.
  • Common cold.
  • Flu.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Bladder and prostate infections.
  • Intestinal worms.
  • Cancer.
  • Diabetes.
  • Ulcers.
  • Stomach problems.
  • Liver problems.
  • Asthma.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Arthritis-like pain.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhea, syphilis).
  • Boils.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pau d’arco for these uses.


PAU D'ARCO Side Effects & Safety

Pau d'arco is POSSIBLY UNSAFE at typical doses. At high doses, it is LIKELY UNSAFE. High doses can cause severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and internal bleeding. Pau d'arco should be used with caution. Talk with your healthcare provider before you decide to take it.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: During pregnancy, pau d’arco is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in typical amounts, and LIKELY UNSAFE in larger doses. Not enough is known about the safety of applying it to the skin. The best rule is, don’t use it orally or topically if you are pregnant.

The safety of using pau d’arco during breast-feeding has not been well studied. But, since it might be unsafe for anyone to use, it makes sense to avoid pau d’arco if you are breast-feeding.

Bleeding disorders: Pau d'arco can delay clotting and might interfere with treatment in people with bleeding disorders.

Surgery: Pau d'arco might slow blood clotting and could increase the chance of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using it at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

PAU D'ARCO Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with PAU D'ARCO

    Pau d'arco might slow blood clotting. Taking pau d'arco along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

    Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.


PAU D'ARCO Dosing

The appropriate dose of pau d’arco depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for pau d’arco. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

See 12 Reviews for this Treatment - OR -

Review this Treatment

Learn about User Reviews and read IMPORTANT information about user generated content

Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

Search for a Vitamin or Supplement

Ex. Ginseng, Vitamin C, Depression

Today on WebMD

Woman taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
Man taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
 
clams
Quiz
Woman in sun
Slideshow
 
Couple in bed
Article
!!69X75_Vitamins_Supplements.jpg
Evaluator
 
Woman sleeping
Article
Woman staring into space with coffee
Article
 
Related Newsletters

Stay Informed with the latest must-read information delivered right to your inbox.

IMPORTANT: About This Section and Other User-Generated Content on WebMD

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatment or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.