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Pau d'Arco Inner Bark - Anti-Fungal, Anti-Cancer

Pau d

Thursday, March 20th 2003

Pau d'Arco (Lapaucho) is a tree native to central and South America and the West Indies. The tree grows at altitudes where few plants can survive and where the atmosphere has high ozone content which the tree has developed a method of using. It can reach heights of 125 feet and can withstand severe winds. Amazingly, no fungus of any kind grows on these trees, even though they grow in tropical rain forests. Pau d'Arco has been used for at least a thousand years by the Brazilian Indians.

The cancer connection

The inner bark of Pau d'Arco was used in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1960 for terminal cancer patients at the Santo Andre Hospital. Reports indicate most patients showed no symptoms after 30 days of commencing treatment. The hospital also used Pau d'Arco for viral-linked diseases and leukaemia. Professor Accorsi, stated that Pau d'Arco eliminates the pain of cancer and increases the number of red corpuscles. In the late 1960's the American National Cancer Institute investigated the use of Pau d'Arco for cancer. Following initial positive results, they came to the conclusion that the constituent lapachol had the most pronounced anti-tumour action. The isolated lapachol results were disappointing and the institute decided to stop further research. One can conclude from these research findings that once again the results obtained using the whole inner bark are much better than those using isolated constituents.

Varied uses

Pau d'Arco has proven active against various tropical parasites including flukes and also malaria and Chagas' disease. The University of Recife, Brazil, in the 1950's found a number of substances in Pau d'Arco that had an antibacterial effect These proved effective against staphylococci and streptococci. It is a highly effective antifungal against Candida albicans and also Trichophyton (ringworm fungus). The 1975 studies by Linhares and De Santa showed lapachol (the main active ingredient in Pau d'Arco), inhibited a number of viral strains including Herpes 1 and 2. Other studies have shown the effectiveness of Pau d'Arco against Epstein-Barr virus.

Reproduced unabridged from the February/ March 2003 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful for Immunity:

Ezziac Tea
Immune Boost
Immune Booster for Kids
Immune Defence Cough & Cold Relief
Family C Powder
Hi Strength Fish Oil
Olive Leaf Complex
Vir Defence
Winter Guard

Related health information can be found here:

Cold Sores
Fungal Infection

Related articles can be found here:

Asthma and wheezing burden underestimated
Boost your seven immune systems
Improved Colostrum provides extra health benefits
Healthy Immunity: Use and recommend Sambucol year-round
Why take Primadophilus?

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.


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