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Pau D'arco

 What are other names for this remedy?
 What is pau d'arco?
 What is it used for?
 How is it taken?
 What if I overdose?
 What should I watch out for?
 What are the possible side effects?
 What products might interact with this remedy?

Pronunciation: POW dee-AR-co

What are other names for this remedy?

Type of medicine: natural remedy

Scientific and common names: Tabebuia impetiginosa, Tabebuia avellanedae; Tabebuia heptaphylla, ipe, ipe roxo, ipes, lapacho, lapacho colorado, lapacho morado Pau dArco, Pau de Arco, purple lapacho, red lapacho, taheebo, trumpet bush

What is pau d'arco?

Pau d'arco is a tree that grows in the tropical rain forest. It often reaches 125 feet in height. The bark is used medicinally.

What is it used for?

This remedy has been used to treat several conditions. Studies in humans or animals have not proved that this remedy is safe or effective for all uses. Before using this remedy for a serious condition, you should talk with your healthcare provider.

Pau d'arco has been used to treat:

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve uses for natural remedies. The FDA does not inspect or regulate natural remedies the way they do prescription medicines.

How is it taken?

Pau d'arco comes in the form of capsules, tablets, tinctures, and dried bark. Follow the directions that come with the package. Do not take more or take it longer than recommended.

What if I overdose?

Symptoms of an acute overdose have not been reported.

What should I watch out for?

Although this remedy has been studied as a cancer treatment, the effective amount may be fatal. Do not take pau d'arco for cancer without your healthcare provider's approval.

Do not use this remedy if you have a bleeding disorder.

If you need emergency care, surgery, or dental work, tell the healthcare provider or dentist you are taking this medicine.

Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about any natural remedy that you are using or thinking about using. If your provider does not tell you how to take it, follow the directions that come with the package. Do not take more or take it longer than recommended. Ask about anything you do not understand. Remember:

What are the possible side effects?

Along with its desirable effects, this remedy may cause some unwanted side effects. Some side effects may be very serious. Some side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the remedy. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that continue or get worse.

Life-threatening (Report these to your healthcare provider right away. If you cannot reach your healthcare provider right away, get emergency medical care or call 911 for help.): Allergic reaction (hives; itching; rash; trouble breathing; chest pain or tightness in your chest; swelling of your lips, tongue, and throat).

Serious (report these to your healthcare provider right away): Unusual bruising or bleeding, severe vomiting, severe diarrhea.

Other: Dizziness, nausea, vomiting

What products might interact with this remedy?

When you take this remedy with other medicines, it can change the way the remedy or the medicines work. Vitamins and certain foods may also interact. Using these products together might cause harmful side effects. Before taking this remedy, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking:

If you are not sure if your medicines might interact, ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider. Keep a list of all your medicines with you. List all the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Be sure that you tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all the products you are taking.


Keep all natural remedies and medicines out of the reach of children.

This advisory includes select information only. The information was obtained from scientific journals, study reports, and other documents. The author and publisher make no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the information. The advisory may not include all side effects associated with a remedy or interactions with other medicines. Nothing herein shall constitute a recommendation for the use of any remedy. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.

healthinformatics info

Reference Sources:

Pau D’arco. Accessed May 19, 2012 from Curr Pharm Des. 2012 May 23. [Epub ahead of print] The use of herbal medicine in cancer-related anorexia/ cachexia treatment around the world. Cheng KC, Li YX, Cheng JT.


Pau D’arco. Accessed May 19, 2012 from Colorectal Dis. 2010 Aug;12(8):799-803. Epub 2009 Jun 22. Immunostimulation to reduce recurrence after surgery for anal condyloma acuminata: a prospective randomized controlled trial. Mistrangelo M, Cornaglia S, Pizzio M, Rimonda R, Gavello G, Dal Conte I, Mussa A. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2007 Dec 1;17(23):6417-20. Epub 2007 Oct 5.

Pau D’arco. Accessed May 19, 2012 from Stereoselective synthesis and cytotoxicity of a cancer chemopreventive naphthoquinone from Tabebuia avellanedae. Yamashita M, Kaneko M, Iida A, Tokuda H, Nishimura K.


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Last Modified: 2012-06-04

Last Reviewed: 2012-06-04

Website Updated: March 2014

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This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

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