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Pau D Arco

Pau d'Arco are large shrubs and trees native to the rainforests of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, growing to 5 to 50 m (16 to 160 ft.) tall depending on the species.

The bark of several species has medical properties. The bark is dried, shredded, and then boiled making a bitter or sour-tasting brownish-colored tea. Tea from the inner bark of Pink IpÍ (T. impetiginosa) is known as Lapacho or Taheebo. Its main active principles are lapachol, quercetin, and other flavonoids. It is also available in pill form. The herbal remedy is typically used during flu and cold season and for easing smoker's cough. It apparently works as expectorant, by promoting the lungs to cough up and free deeply embedded mucus and contaminants. However, lapachol is rather toxic and therefore a more topical use e.g. as antibiotic or pesticide may be advisable. Other species with significant folk medical use are T. alba and Yellow Lapacho (T. serratifolia).

Tabebuia heteropoda, T. incana, and other species are occasionally used as an additive to the entheogenic drink Ayahuasca.

Pau d'Arco is commonly used as a tea for candida fungal infections, inflammation, and other infections. It is known for relief of vaginal candidiasis and oral thrush candidiasis and has some antibiotic and antifungal properties. Some believe it can reduce the inflammation of arthritis. The active ingredient lapachol has the ability to block fungal infections and wipe out intestinal parasites. It is also helpful in killing infections like yeast, herpes simplex, influenza, and even polio.

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