Traditional Indications

Pau d’Arco is antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, anticancer, antiparasitic, antioxidant and expectorant. Pau d'Arco is a natural herb retrieved from the inner bark of the Tabebuia Avellanedae known as taheebo. Pau d'Arco has been used for centuries by the Indio tribes of South America, as well as the ancient Incas and Aztecs. Candida Albicans, a fungus which causes yeast infections, has also been treated by the Pau d'Arco herb. As an expectorant, Pau d’Arco is used by many during the cold and flu season, and is a remedy for smoker's cough.


Clinical studies also showed strong in vitro activity against various bacteria, fungi and yeast, including: Aspergillus and Candida Albicans, (1) Staphylococcus aureus, (2) Helicobacter pylori (common cause of stomach ulcers). (3)

Possible Interactions include antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs (blood-thinners), including, Warfarin (Coumadin), Clopidogrel (Plavix) & Aspirin. Pregnant and nursing women should not take Pau d'Arco.

Pau D'arco, the bark of a South American tree, is also anti-yeast and is a natural remedy for vaginal infections. (4)

Reactive oxidants are counterbalanced by complex antioxidant defense systems regulated by a web of pathways to ensure that the response to oxidants is adequate for the body’s needs. The nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (Nrf2) is an emerging regulator of cellular resistance to oxidants. Pau d’arco activates Nrf2-dependent gene expression via the MEK/ERK-pathway to increase resistance to oxidants. (5)

Tabebuia avellanedae naphthoquinones display cytotoxic activity against methicillin-resistant staphylococcal strains in vivo. (2)

Pau D'arco displays antinociceptive (blocking the detection of a painful or injurious stimulus by sensory neurons) and antiedematogenic properties. (6)

1. Chedid V, Dhalla S, Clarke JO, Roland BC, Dunbar KB, Koh J, et al. Herbal therapy is equivalent to rifaximin for the treatment of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Global advances in health and medicine. 2014;3(3):16-24.
2. Pereira EM, Machado TdB, Leal ICR, Jesus DM, Damaso CRdA, Pinto AV, et al. Tabebuia avellanedae naphthoquinones: activity against methicillin-resistant staphylococcal strains, cytotoxic activity and in vivo dermal irritability analysis. Annals of clinical microbiology and antimicrobials. 2006;5:5-.
3. Park B-S, Lee H-K, Lee S-E, Piao X-L, Takeoka GR, Wong RY, et al. Antibacterial activity of Tabebuia impetiginosa Martius ex DC (Taheebo) against Helicobacter pylori. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2006;105(1):255-62.
4. Genet J. [Natural remedies for vaginal infections]. SIDAhora : un proyecto del Departamento de Publicaciones del PWA Coalition, NY. 1995:40-1.
5. Richter M, Winkel AF, Schummer D, Gerlitz M, de Hoop M, Brunner B, et al. Pau d’arco activates Nrf2-dependent gene expression via the MEK/ERK-pathway. The Journal of toxicological sciences. 2014;39(2):353-61.
6. de Miranda FG, Vilar JC, Alves IA, Cavalcanti SC, Antoniolli AR. Antinociceptive and antiedematogenic properties and acute toxicity of Tabebuia avellanedae Lor. ex Griseb. inner bark aqueous extract. BMC pharmacology. 2001;1:6-.