Why Pau d'Arco Is So Effective

Publication Year: 
1998

The healing power of the lapacho tree can't be traced back to one individual component. Only the unique combination of effective ingredients makes its broad therapeutic applications possible. In this chapter, I've compiled an overview of the components discovered up to now by scientific research, together with their significance. I ask the professionals among the readers to forgive me for portraying this information in a way that everyone can understand. An abundance of more detailed information can be found in the scientific publications listed in the appendix.

Improvement of Oxygen Supply
There are large amounts of oxygen in the red inner bark of the lapacho tree, which is bound in a form easily available to the human organism and particularly valuable. Oxygen in this form can very efficiently kill bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and viruses. The body cells receive better nutrition—since oxygen can be termed their elixir of life—and coatings that impede the metabolism dissolve from the walls of blood vessels. At the same time, the vitality and flexibility of these important blood vessels are substantially improved. The enzymatic activity1 stimulated in the body on an extensive basis through the direct supply of oxygen. Furthermore, pau d'arco promotes the formation of red blood cells to a high degree, thereby improving the possibilities for the transportation of oxygen within the organism.

These qualities of the “divine tree” were responsible for attracting the world-wide attention of researchers who were involved in the medical applications of oxygen. During the Eighties, a series of clinical studies resulted in clear indications that, for example, ozone injected intravenously or even the previously developed famous oxygen multiple-step therapy by Professor Ardenne can help the organism in many respects. With lapacho, a plant had been discovered for the first time that could be used as a source of oxygen, as well as for stimulating the formation of red blood cells in addition to other oxygen treatments. As a result, it's recommended that pau d'arco be used as a supplement for a great variety of ozone and oxygen therapies. In the same respect, the qualities of pau d'arco that have been mentioned here also make it quite useful for the improvement of wound-healing.

Natural Antibiotic and Tumor-Healing Components
Lapacho bark contains various germ-killing substances. As early as the Sixties, the Argentinian botanist Dr. Theodoro Meyer discovered it to have a natural, holistically active antibiotic agent with negligible harmful side-effects (as long as it's used in connection with the entire biology of the plant). This substance, a quinone with the name of lapachol, was later also tested by the renowned American National Cancer Institute in terms of its healing powers for tumors. Only in most recent times have more extensive tests been carried out in such countries as Germany, Scotland, Japan, and the USA. As a result, a total of twelve quinones with antibiotic qualities have been found.

However, the outstanding healing effects for which pau d'arco is so greatly valued result only in the complex interaction. These substances are also significant in relation to cancer diseases. They can inhibit the growth of tumors, kill cancer cells, and prevent the formation of metastases. Furthermore, when they occur together, only minor amounts are required for for the comprehensive effect, including successful stimulation of the immune system!

Bernard Kreher, a researcher from Munich, wrote his doctoral work on the immunostimulating effects of pau d'arco. He came up with these highly interesting results: the activity of the body's defense system was increased by more than 48%!

Moreover, pau d'arco contains a great deal of calcium and iron, which supports the transportation of oxygen, meaning the nourishment of the tissue and the immune system, and thereby strengthens the overall organism.

Selenium is contained in a comparably medium-strong concentration. Selenium is an important antioxidant, a catcher of the so-called “free radicals” that damage cells and cytoplasts, weaken the body's defenses, and promote the development of various diseases, or even trigger them—including cancer. Selenium may detoxify the body of the heavy metal cadmium, which is one of the most frequent environmental toxins today and causes high blood pressure and coronary diseases of the hart, among other things, as well as weakening the body's powers of resistance.

Saponins Against Harmful Fungi and Cancer
The saponins which are richly present in pau d'arco tea, are natural antimycotic agents that protect the body from harmful fungi and even create a climate capable of repelling them.

When herbal teas are give a powerful shake, saponins become visible in the form of foam.2 When digested in the small intestine, the pau d'arco saponins facilitate the absorption of important active ingredients of other medicinal herbs that sometimes contain too little of these substances. This explains why herbalists of all traditions put pau d'arco tea into mixtures of various medicinal plants. According to experience, it intensifies the health-promoting effects of other components. In addition, some of the saponins contained in the pau d'arco tea are capable of reducing the growth of tumors. Japanese researchers, who discovered this characteristic, had a special pau d'arco saponin patented as a cancer drug for this very reason.

Pau d'Arco and Diabetes
In the traditional South American art of healing, pau d'arco is valued in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. But what is the reason for this effect? The results of Brazilian research has been that pau d'arco inhibits the absorption of glucose (grape sugar) in the intestines. Because it quickly goes directly into the blood, without having to be further reconstructed by the metabolism, glucose increases the level of blood sugar in a way not tolerated by the organism. As a result, larger amounts of insulin are excreted by the pancreas in order to once again normalize the blood sugar level. Often, the consequence of this is that hypoglycemia occurs, triggering fatigue and an appetite for “something sweet.” Industrial sugar is frequently eaten, either pure or “packaged,” in larger amounts, the pancreas experiences such an extreme strain that it becomes damaged in its ability to produce insulin in cases of constitutional weakness or other negative accompanying circumstances. If the absorption of glucose in the intestines is inhibited by pau d'arco, for example, this immediately relieves the pancreas. In addition, the metabolism is then caused to obtain its energy for the largest part from the utilization of long-chain carbohydrates. This supports the normalization of the appetite, the hunger decreases in some cases, and there is a growing tendency towards more healthy nutrition, as I have been able to ascertain from a series of reports on experiences.

In many cases, even with just a few weeks, provided no extreme nutritional errors are made, some of the overweight can be reduced in this manner without having to go hungry.

All of these are ideal preconditions for the pancreas to recover. Continue taking pau d'arco according to the instructions of Angelika Franz, MD for Naturopathy in Munich, which should have the effect of improving the function of the spleen-pancreas meridian. At the same time, pau d'arco:

  • Exercises a healing influence on the delayed damage of diabetes by improving the supply of oxygen
  • Prevents future metabolic problems
  • Helps against tissue degeneration
  • And, because of its antibiotic active ingredients that have no side-effects, helps heal inflammations (a great anger for diabetics and frequently the cause of limbs having to be amputated).
  • Because of these comprehensive health-promoting effects and its outstanding tolerability, pau d'arco should definitely receive a solid place in the therapy of diabetes. A prson who can assume he or she has an increased risk of diabetes3 is well-advised to include pau d'arco as a house tea in his or her daily culinary fitness program.

    Xyloidone: The Substance that Drives the candida Fungi Out of the Body
    An organic compound with the name xyloidone was identified by researchers just a few years ago as an important factor for the antimycotic (fungi-killing) effect of pau d'arco tea in relation to the candidiasis infections that have been occurring with increasing frequency. Xyloidone also possesses remarkable antibacterial and antiviral qualities.

    Lapachol—The Efficacy Carrier That Has Been Most Researched Up to Now
    One of the quinones mentioned at the beginning of this chapter is called lapachol. It was already discovered during the Sixties by Dr. Theodoro Meyer, one of the two pioneers of modern pau d'arco research. He produced the first reports about the tumor-inhibiting and anti-inflammatory qualities of this substance. In the following decades, various scientists from around the world have researched lapachol extensively in laboratory tests and clinical studies. The following statements can be made about it today:

  • Lapachol develops a distinct antiviral activity, among other things against: polio pathogens type 1, herpes simplex type 1 and 2, and various flu germs.
  • The anti-inflammatory qualities of lapachol are considerably stronger than those of phenylbutayone, for example.
  • Ulcers are healed by lapachol. The substances even prevents of development of gastric ulcers, which can be caused by excessive stress.
  • Lapachol can frequently relieve pain caused by cancer diseases.
  • Lapachol shouldn't be used in an isolated form during pregnancy.
  • The very low concentrations of lapachol in tea, extracted from the inner bark of the tree, activate various immune cells in the human body, the lymphocytes and the granulocytes. Considerably higher concentrations don't have such a good effect in this regard.
  • Even malaria can be treated using lapachol.
  • In an isolated form, meaning removed from the biological context of the original plant, and in high doses of 1500mg and more a day, lapachol clearly diminishes the ability of the blood to coagulate and causes nausea and vomiting. According to Dr. J. B. Block, main author of the clinical studies on lapachol by the American National Cancer Institute, not even with these high doses can any type op toxicity be established with regard to the liver and kidneys. In the clinical applications, there have been successful tests in which the diminished blood coagulation caused by the lapachol was remedied by the additional administration of vitamin K. A distinct antitumor effect has resulted with the dosages stated above.
  • Unfortunately, time and again the effect of the pau d'arco bark tea has been equated in publications with the effect of lapachol. This is absolutely false. Although lapachol is a component that occurs in high concentrations in the heartwood, there are only traces of it in the bark. Lapachol in an isolated form is a remedy that is quite aggressive even though there is no doubt about it being medicinally versatile. In its effects, the pau d'arco tea is very harmonious by comparison. Nature has brought together a concert of greatly varying healing substances in the bark of the lapacho tree. This successful synthesis alone distinguishes its uniqueness. It can in no way be limited to individual substances. To the contrary: If the natural context is lost, side-effects of all types occur, something that is sufficiently familiar from other isolated active ingredients.

    Further Active Ingredients
    There is naturally an entire series of further important active ingredients in pau d'arco tea, such as veratric acid and veratric aldehyde, both substances that strongly stimulate the immune system in different ways, and further substances like various napthoquinone derivatives, which demonstrate significant haling power. However, I have consciously refrained from describing these in detail here since knowledge of them is unnecessary for the practical use of the tea, and a certain amount o scientific knowledge is required to understand the immunological correlations. If yo are interested in this topic, please consult the excellent work by Dr. Bernard Kreher, listed in the appendix on page 120 “What's in pau d'arco tea?”. Dr. Kreher has probably carried out the most comprehensive analysis of pau d'arco to date. Specialists will get their money's worth here. One important result of his work has been, among other things, that the optimal stimulation of the body's own immune system occurs through jut tiny traces of the active ingredient in pau d'arco tea.

    1 Enzymes, called ferments in earlier times, are protein substances that facilitate and accelerate a variety o chemical reactions within the body in the role of catalysts, without changing themselves in the process. These are required for the transformation of the food in the intestines, as well as for fighting certain pathogens (germs) and maintaining the normal function of the cell metabolism. Enzymes make an important contribution to the detoxification and purification of the body by transforming substances that are harmful or impede the metabolism and making them eliminable. For this reason, enzymes have also been increasingly employed in recent years in the therapy of chronic inflammations and for the treatment of cancer diseases. An ingenious pioneer of modern enzyme therapy was the physician Professor Max Wolf.

    2 This also works with black tea—try it sometime!

    3 If diabetes has been manifested in parents or siblings, there is often an increased risk of a corresponding illness. If you would like more specific information and want to clarify your health situation with respect to diabetes, you should consult a physician who has been specially trained in the treatment of diabetes.

    pp. 33-41 The Healing Power of Pau d'Arco: The Divine Tree of the South American Shamans Provides Extraordinary Healing Benefits by Walter Lübeck (1998)

    Image retrieved from candida-cure-recipes.com on October 28, 2014.

    pau d'arco bark, pau d'arco tea
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