Pau D’arco

Scientifi c names: Tabebuia impetiginosa

Other common names: Ipe, ipe roxo, ipes, la pacho, lapacho, lapacho colorado, lapacho morado, lapachol, purple lapacho, red lapacho, roxo, taheebo, tajibo, trumpet bush, trumpet tree

Origin:  Pau d’arco is a tree found in South America, Central America, Mexico, and Florida


Immune Support, Men, Women, Urinary Tract Support

Pau d’arco is a type of tree native to the rainforests of Central and South America. In herbal medicine, extracts of the bark have long been used to treat a wide range of medical disorders.

Now available in dietary supplement form, pau d’arco extract contains a potent antioxidant known as quercetin thought to influence health. Pau d’arco is also rich in naphthoquinones, plant-based compounds that exert antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal effects.


In folk medicine, pau d’arco is used to treat a wide range of medical disorders, including anemia, asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, eczema, enlarged prostate, influenza, intestinal worms, sexually transmitted infections, skin infections, urinary tract infections, and even cancer. [1]

Antimicrobial Action

The major focus of research for pau d’arco is its antimicrobial effects. One study demonstrated its activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Aspergillus niger. Of the extracts tested, pau d’arco was one of the most active (Anesini et al, 1993). Another study demonstrated the remarkable broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity of this herb against many gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and fungi (Binutu et al, 1994). The stem bark was shown to be the most active; extracts of leaves were active only against Candida albicans. Park et al (2006) identifi ed the action of pau d’arco against Helicobacter pylori.[2]


Pau d’arco may help fight inflammation, according to a 2008 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. The investigation, involving lab mice with medically induced edema (tissue swelling), demonstrated that a water-based extract of pau d’arco was able to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory compounds known as prostaglandins.

Prostaglandins are produced at sites of tissue damage or infection, causing inflammation, pain, and fever as part of the healing process. By countering this effect, pau d’arco may be able to reverse some of the swelling and pain associated with inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate).[1]


furanonaphthoquinones, naphthoquinones, quinones, benzoic acids, cyclopentene dialdehydes, iridoids, and phenolic glycoside

Part(s) Used


Additional Resources


[2] Mosby’s Hndbook of Herbs and Natural Supplements – fourth edition

View Important Precautions

 Important Precautions

Not for use during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.