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.
- Yeast infections.
- Common cold.
- Bladder and prostate infections.
- Intestinal worms.
- Stomach problems.
- Liver problems.
- Arthritis-like pain.
- Sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhea, syphilis).
- Other conditions.
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.
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.