Pau d'Arco is part of the bark of a tree that is native to South America. The branches of the tree are cut off, peeled, and then part of the bark is shaved off and brewed as a tea. It has been used this way for thousands of years.
There are lots of potential therapeutic benefits, most of which have not as of yet been properly researched. The one we intend to discuss here is metabolic support.*
One of the powerful components in Pau d'Arco is lapachol. In higher amounts lapachol can be quite toxic, but some of the therapeutic benefits are due to this compound.
Not all Pau d'Arco is the same. There is much, much higher amounts of lapachol in the outside bark, which is why it is the inner bark that is typically shaved and used. This inner bark has a distinct look, so we recommend you only make tea only from this bark. If you use a powder, who knows what you're getting.
Other factors such as the maturity of the tree also influence the lapachol content, so it is important for Pau d'Arco to be harvested by people who know what they are doing. We also do not generally recommend Pau d'Arco for long-term use, only occasional short term use.
How does Pau d'Arco support metabolism?
It promotes red blood cell turnover.* RBCs are crucial for the delivery of oxygen throughout the body, and RBC rigidity has been shown to play a major role in blood pressure and other factors that have a significant impact on metabolism.*
Your directions say to boil Pau d'Arco for 20 minutes. Is this necessary?
Pau d'Arco requires more boiling time than most herbs due to the nature of the material and its components. Boiling for 10 minutes will suffice if you are pressed for time, but simply steeping it hot water will not work. This is why Pau d'Arco teas are not effective.
What is the difference between Tabebuia avellanedae and Tabebuia impetiginosa?
There is no difference. It is the same tree and both names refer to the same exact tree. It is also known by its name lapacho.
Why is it important to use the inner bark?
The inner bark is called the phloem, and Pau d'Arco should always be made from this part only unless it is specifically stated otherwise on the package. The rest of the bark is much higher in lapachol. While a Pau d'Arco preparation of that nature may have benefits of its own, it must be used with care.
Is this product organic?
This product is wildcrafted from the branches of Pau d'Arco trees that grow in Brazil. It does not have a certified organic status, and I imagine it would be particularly complicated to get certified, so do not expect to see that anytime soon. It is also not important and would just drive up the price of Pau d'Arco needlessly.