Pau D'Arco powerful anti cancer herb photoPau D’Arco makes a delicately scented, mild tea but it’s chemical properties that act against cancer are anything but mild and delicate.

The Pau D’Arco tree grows in the southern rain forests of Brazil and Argentina and contains active quinone compounds which have been studied extensively for their potential use in pharmaceutical agents for cancer treatment.

Native healers also use the inner bark of this tree to inhibit and slow the growth of cancers and tumors. It was reportedly used in “South American hospitals and clinics to treat leukemia … Dr. Theodore Meyer of Argentina reported five leukemia victims were completely cured of cancer by Pau D’Arco.” (Tierra, 1998)

Pau D’Arco, a powerful anti cancer herb, is also known as Tabebuia Impetiginosa, Tabebuia Heptaphylla Lapachol, Purple Lapachol, Tabebuia, and Taheebo.

Dr. Duke’s Ethnobotanical and Phytochemical Database, lists the activities of Lapachol and its active quinone compounds.

Notice the anticancer properties of LAPACHOL Bark:

Antiabscess; Antibacterial; Anticarcinomic 100-400 ppm; Antiedemic; Antiinflammatory; Antimalarial; Antiseptic; Antitumor; Antiviral; Fungicide; Immunostimulant 0.01 mg/ml; Insectifuge; Pesticide; Protisticide; Respiradepressant; Schistosomicide; Termiticide. (Duke, 2009)

Pau D’Arco also has potent anti-fungal, anticancer, antidiabetic, bitter tonic, digestive, antibacterial and anti-tumor properties.

Pau D’Arco has alterative properties that work to deeply and gently cleanse our blood, remove toxins and stimulate white blood cell production. Alteratives are best used consistently for a period of weeks or months. Start slowly, especially if you are debilitated by illness and gently increase the dose over one to two weeks. Alteratives can cause systemic toxicity if the amount of acids and wastes released into your bloodstream are too much for your eliminatory system. This can overburden your liver, skin, bowels, lungs and kidneys and cause unnecessary symptoms of detoxification. Go slowly and consistently to reap the general detoxifying action of Pau D’Arco.

It has been used for fungal infections, cancer, to slow and inhibit tumor growth and to eliminate skin diseases.

For a deeper understanding of healing with cancer go now to The Cancer Journal ~ Heal Yourself!

In The Green Pharmacy [The Green Pharmacy: Dr. Duke reports that Lapachol bark contains lapachol, beta-lapachone and xyloidine, three compounds which show activity against Candida Albicans and other common pathogenic fungi. (Duke, 1997)

Like many other herbs, Pau D’Arco can have harmful effects when used in large amounts and for long periods of time. In small quantities Pau D’Arco stimulates immune function, but in large doses it can have the opposite affect of suppressing immunity. More is not always better. Alteratives are used slowly and consistently, in small quantities.

This medicinal herb is used for therapeutic purposes only, meaning if you are well, there is no reason to use a powerful herb like Pau D’Arco because your body is able to protect itself without aid. There is always polarity with herbal medicines. This is the reason why it’s very, very important to know the properties and actions of the herbs you use, extremely well.

A regular dose would be one teaspoon to a cup of water, just off the boil, let steep for five to ten minutes. Or a weak tea in a teapot, drank throughout the day.


Because of the strong anti-fungal properties of Pau D’Arco, it makes a useful remedy for yeast infections, eczema and psoriasis. To make a compress, soak a cloth in Pau D’Arco tea and lay on the infection, or pour a small amount of tea directly on the affected area, once or twice daily.


Pay attention to how you feel and be aware that alteratives can cause you to feel ill when toxins and acids are released into your bloodstream for elimination.

Always be aware of the active properties of the herbs you are using, especially if you are on medications or have a preexisting condition such as high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease or if you are pregnant or nursing, always consult a qualified practitioner.

In large amounts, Pau D’Arco can inhibit blood clotting. Consult a physician if you have heart disease, use blood thinners, or anticoagulants.

Pregnant and nursing women should never consume Pau D’Arco. It contains toxic quinines with Abortifacient activities. 


Dr. Duke’s Ethnobotanical and Phytochemical Database. (2010) Accessed October 3, 2010 from

Duke, Ph.D., James, A. (1997) The Green Pharmacy. Pennsylvania, U.S.A.: Rodale Press.

Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D., Michael. (1998) The Way Of Herbs. New York, U.S.A.: Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster Inc.



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