The lapacho or pau d’arco is a very widespread tree in South America. It belongs to the Bignoniaceae family. Its scientific name is Handroanthus impetiginosus or Tabebuia impetiginosa or Tabebuia avellanedae. For several years, it has occupied an important place in the field of phytotherapy. Moreover, it contains many active substances which are at the origin of its virtues. There are, among others, naphthoquinones such as lapachol, coumarins and saponosides.
Properties and indications in herbal medicine
Toning and immunostimulant
The lapacho tends to strengthen the body’s defenses. It improves, among other things, the immune system’s response to pathogens and other forms of external aggression. In case of low energy or chronic fatigue, it also acts as a general tonic. It allows to restore energy and vitality to the body.
Antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal
This tree with therapeutic virtues makes it possible to fight effectively against pathologies of bacterial, viral, parasitic origin and those caused by fungi. These infections include thrush, tuberculosis, herpetic eruptions and leishmaniasis. It also allows to treat respiratory tract conditions such as bronchitis, nasopharyngitis and flu.
Anti-inflammatory and analgesic
Pau d’arco helps treat various inflammatory diseases. It is particularly effective for treat inflammation of the digestive systembladder or cervix.
Several studies demonstrate the effectiveness of this plant in the treatment of malignant tumors. It intervenes, for example, in the treatment of liver cancercolon, breast and stomach.
THE lapacho is indicated in case of:
- Skin issues: wounds and psoriasis
- Early onset of cellular aging symptoms
- Nervous disorders and cognitive decline
In pharmacies or parapharmacies, lapacho comes in the form of herbal tea, dry extracts, powder, mother tincture, ampoule and capsule.
Recommendations for use and dosage
The dosage varies depending on the form used and the desired effect.
For a decoction, it is necessary to boil an amount of 1 teaspoon of dried bark and 1 cup of water. Simmer for 3 minutes and add an infusion time of 15 minutes then strain. Consume up to 4 cups in a day.
For bark powder, the recommended dosage is 1 teaspoon per day. Mix the powder with a drink (fruit juice or vegetable milk) with each dose.
As for the mother tincture and the drinkable ampoules, they must be diluted in a glass of water each time you take it. The usual dosage is:
- Tincture: 25 to 30 drops 3 times a day
- Ampoule: 1 ampoule at mealtimes
Regarding the capsules, we recommend taking 3 to 6 capsules spread over the day.
Reasons for caution
I’use of lapacho is contraindicated for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Caution is also advised in people on anticoagulant therapy.