Pau d’Arco bark has active principles, mainly lapachol, quercetin and other flavonoids. The dried inner bark of Pau d’Arco can be used as a tea which has a taste that is just a little bit harsh, and a color that may remind you of sepia-toned photographs. This herbal tea is used by many during the cold and flu season, and is a remedy for smoker’s cough. Another medicinal use of Pau d’Arco is as an expectorant: to promote “coughing up” by the lungs in order to free mucus and contaminants that had been lodged there.
Pau d’Arco tea or tincture concoctions have reportedly had beneficial effects for cancer patients, anywhere from alleviation of chemotherapy symptoms to complete remission of tumors. According to Dr. Daniel Mowrey, who has become somewhat famous in the area of Pau d’Arco supporters, anti-cancer benefits can be had from Lapacho (the active compound), without any side effects being noticed (but see cautions page for potential side effects). Taheebo, another name that is used for this tea, has been helpful to many.
Candida Albicans, a fungus which causes yeast infections, has also been treated by the Pau d’Arco herb. Aside from patients dealing with candida problems, those with other issues involving fungi or yeasts — such as Aspergillus — may also be helped due to the antifungal nature of lapachol. Moreover, certain bacteria are affected by this compound, so help may also be available for people with issues of that nature, including: Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus, Helicobacter pylori (common cause of stomach ulcers), Brucella, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and dysentery.
This herb is claimed to be useful as an antioxidant. Moreover, Pau d’Arco is confirmed as being an antiparisitic against various parasites, including: malaria, schistosoma, and trypanosoma. Antiviral uses have been displayed by Pau d’Arco against several viruses, one of which is vesicular stomatitis virus, shortened as VSV. Additionally, the herb has even demonstrated usefulness in fighting inflammation.