- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: pau d’arco
Brand and Other Names: La Pacho, Tabebuia avellanedae, Tabebuia impetiginosa
Drug Class: Herbals
What is pau d’arco, and what is it used for?
Pau d’arco is the Portuguese name for Tabebuia impetiginosa, a tree native to the tropical forests of South America. The bark and central portion of the wood (heartwood) have been used as herbal medicine by indigenous people for thousands of years.
Pau d’arco is used in herbal medicinal systems in the U.S., South and Latin American countries, and Europe to treat many conditions including respiratory problems, gastrointestinal problems, colds, cough, flu, fungal infections, fever, arthritis and rheumatism, skin conditions, leukemia, and other cancers.
Pau d’arco is believed to have antifungal, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, laxative and anti-cancer properties. The active chemicals in pau d’arco include quinoids, flavonoids and benzenoids. Limited studies on one of the quinoids known as lapachol produced mixed results on its antitumor activity. Lab tests show evidence of antimicrobial activity, including in many bacterial, viral, fungal, and candida yeast infections, however, there are no well-controlled studies on these uses of pau d’arco in humans.
Pau d’arco is mainly taken as a decoction or tincture made from the bark. Some of the suggested uses include:
What are the side effects of pau d’arco?
Common side effects of pau d’arco include:
This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug.
Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What are the dosages of pau d’arco?
There isn't enough reliable information to know what might be an appropriate dose of Pau d’arco. Follow directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.
- 1-4 g/per day divided twice-three times per day, use no more than 7 days
- 1 tsp bark steeped in boiling water, 2-8 times per day
- Dose based on lapachol content; lapachol intake should be 1.5-2.0 g/day
- Overdose of pau d’arco can cause nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal upset, and uncontrolled bleeding.
- In case of overdose, seek medical help immediately or contact Poison Control.
What drugs interact with pau d’arco?
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.
- Pau d’arco has no known severe interactions with other drugs.
- Pau d’arco has no known serious interactions with other drugs.
- Pau d’arco has moderate interactions with 72 different drugs.
- Minor interactions of pau d’arco include:
- devil's claw
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- There isn’t any reliable information on the safety of pau d’arco use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, avoid use.
What else should I know about pau d’arco?
- Natural products are not always necessarily safe, check with your healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplement including pau d’arco.
- Pau d’arco is marketed as an herbal supplement and not regulated by the FDA. There may be discrepancy between the labeling and the actual ingredients and their amounts.
- There is no quality control or standardization and some products may not even contain the medicinal components of pau d’arco. A chemical analysis of 12 commercially available pau d’arco products found that only one of them contained the main active chemical lapachol, and only in trace amounts.
- If you decide to take pau d’arco, learn about the available products and suppliers, and find a reliable source.
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Pau d’arco is used in herbal medicine to treat many conditions including respiratory problems, gastrointestinal problems, colds, cough, flu, fungal infections, fever, arthritis and rheumatism, skin conditions, leukemia, and other cancers. Common side effects of pau d’arco include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and internal bleeding. Avoid use of pau d’arco during pregnancy or if breastfeeding.
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You can breastfeed your baby even if you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, you must always consult your doctor before you start the process.
Osteoarthritis vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are chronic joint disorders. RA is also an autoimmune disease. OA and RA symptoms and signs include joint pain, warmth, and tenderness. Over-the-counter pain relievers treat both diseases. There are several prescription medications that treat RA.
What Can You Take for a Cold While Pregnant?
You may take over-the-counter (OTC) treatment after consulting with the physician because these are generally safe. OTC medications for colds and flus include acetaminophen, guaifenesin syrup and saline nasal drops or spray. You can also use natural remedies to treat a cold during pregnancy.
How Can Teens Cope With A Cold?
Usually, teens have a healthy immune system to cope with common cold. Getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids can ease the symptoms.
Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, and Colds
If you have a COPD such as emphysema, avoiding chronic bronchitis and colds is important to avoid a more severe respiratory infection such as pneumonia. Avoiding cigarette smoking, practice good hygeine, stay away from crowds, and alerting your healthcare provider if you have a sinus infection or cold or cough that becomes worse. Treatment options depend upon the severity of the emphysema, bronchitis, or cold combination.
What Are the 4 Types of Leukemia?
The four main types of leukemia are acute lymphocytic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and chronic myeloid leukemia.
What Can Trigger a Cold Sore?
After you get infected with HSV, it lies inactively in the nerve cells inside your skin and may appear as another cold sore at the same place as before.
How Long Does a Cold Last?
Most often, a common cold lasts anywhere from 5 to 10 days in length.
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Heart Failure?
Rheumatoid arthritis can increase the risk of various cardiovascular diseases including heart failure and pericarditis. Heart failure is one of the common causes of increased mortality in people with RA.
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the common complications of rheumatoid arthritis. Learn the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Leukemia: Signs, Symptoms, And Complications
Leukemia results when the genetic material (DNA) of a single cell in the bone marrow transforms, this is called a mutation. A mutated cell does not perform body function, but it eats away the nutrition meant for the normal cells.
What Are the 4 Signs of Osteoarthritis?
The signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis may vary depending on the severity of the condition. Learn four signs, two types, and other associated conditions.
When to See a Doctor When Your Baby Has a Cold
If your baby has a cold, signs that it may be time to see a doctor include poor feeding, dehydration, breathing difficulties, ear pain, and more.
What Do You Give a Child With a Cold?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold. Antibiotics may be used to fight bacterial infections, but they have no effect on viruses.
What Is the Main Cause of Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic degenerative disease of the joints affecting middle-aged and elderly people. It involves the breakdown of cartilage and associated inflammatory changes in the adjacent bone. It is a leading cause of chronic disability, affecting 30 million people in the United States alone.
What Is Good for a Child's Cold?
The common cold is one of the main reasons for missing schools in children and missing work in adults. Children are affected more commonly with cold than adults, who may have an average of two to three colds each year.
Osteoarthritis and Treatment
Painful swelling of the joints due to wear and tear over many years is called osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis may develop in any joint that includes the fingers, hips, and knees. There are many treatment options available to curb the complications of arthritis.
What Are the 3 Common Types of Arthritis?
The 3 most common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Can the Flu Shot Harm My Unborn Baby?
Getting the flu shot will not harm your unborn baby at any stage of pregnancy. The flu shot is both safe and recommended to protect you and your baby from the virus. Don’t however, get the nasal spray vaccine, which is not recommended for pregnant women.
How Do You Tell If Your Child Has Allergies or a Cold?
Colds and allergies have different causes, but both involve the body's immune system. Since the symptoms of allergies and the symptoms of a cold overlap, it can be hard to tell which one your child has.
What Are the Stages of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia?
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. With this type of cancer, the marrow creates too many abnormal lymphocytes. There are five stages of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
How Do You Get a Cold Sore on Your Lip?
Cold sores, also called fever blisters or oral herpes, are a viral infection that leaves small blisters around your mouth. You get a cold sore on your lip due to viral infection from herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).
How to Identify Cold Symptoms in Children
When a child is sick, their way of showing it may not always be clear. Here’s what to look for to determine whether your child is sick with a cold.
How Do You Treat a Cold Naturally?
Hundreds of viruses and bacteria can cause the common cold and flu. Most cases of cold and flu usually resolve in a week with simple home remedies and over the counter (OTC) medications. If there is no improvement in a few days, it is advised to consult a doctor.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Flu Vaccine (Flu Shot)
- What Are the Four Stages of Osteoarthritis?
- Using Superficial Heat and Cold Applications for Treatment
- What Is the Best Treatment for Arthritis?
- How to Differentiate Between the Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19, Allergies, Cold, and Flu?
- Physical and Occupational Therapy for Arthritis
- Cold & Flu FAQs
- Rheumatoid Arthritis FAQs
- Leukemia FAQs
- Common Cold FAQs
- Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Killer Cold Virus (Adenovirus Strains)
- Colds: 10 Tips to Prevent The Common Cold
- Evolution of Treatment for a Rare Type of Leukemia
- Gleevec and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
- How Familes Cope with a Leukemia Diagnosis
- Coping with a Bad Disease - Community Counts
- A Family's Leukemia Diary - Coping
- Treatment Update on Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Nasal Flu Vaccine for Children
- Flu: Waiting for Flu Shots, a Real Reality Show
- Flu Shot Fiasco, Critical Incident Report
- Cough, Cold, Weight Loss Drug Dangerous - Warning
- Arthritis Medications
- Common Cold . . . Social Ties Decrease Risk
- Colds: Zinc For Colds...Jury Still Out!
- What Not to Eat When You Have Arthritis
- Is Multiple Myeloma the Same as Leukemia?
- Can Folic Acid Prevent Leukemia?
- What Are the Side Effects of Glucosamine?
- What Kind of Doctor Treats Ankylosing Spodylitis & Reactive Arthritis?
- Does Folic Acid Prevent Leukemia?
- Flu Shot Side Effects
- Will a Flu Shot Prevent Pleurisy?
- What Kind of Cold Medicine Can Diabetics Take?
- Flu Shots - Next Big Influenza Outbreak
- Cold Sore Treatment
- OTC Cold and Cough Medications
- When to Call the Doctor for Fever, Nausea, Diarrhea, Colds, and Coughs
- Air Travel, Colds, and Sinus Infections
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
- Flu Free: How to Fend Off the Flu
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