Antifungals: Pau D’Arco

pau d'arco

Pau D’Arco, or Lapacho, is one of a number of herbal medicines that has come out of the Amazon rainforest in recent years. As doctors find antibiotics less and less effective against mutating diseases, they are looking to nature for answers. Pau D’Arco has been exported from Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina for more than 100 years, but its remarkable properties have been obscured in the past by poor transport and storage that have degraded the herb. Scientists are now investigating its effect on diseases as varied as arthritis and even cancer.

How does Pau D’Arco work?

Pau D’Arco’s effects are two-fold when it comes to Candida. Firstly the herb helps to loosen the bowels. Not enough to cause diarrhea, but enough to wash out old fecal matter (see our cleansing page) and expose the Candida yeast.

Secondly, Pau D’Arco acts as a powerful antifungal agent. It contains several classes of compounds, lapachol, xyloidone and various napthaquinones. The most important of these is lapachol, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of Candida.

According to an overview of lapachol research published in 2007 (see here), “it was reported that lapachol has a significant effect against Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, and Cryptococcus neoformans, that was similar to Amphotericin B. The presumed antifungal activity of lapachol is believed to be due to its interaction with the cellular membrane.”

How do you take Pau D’Arco?

Probably the easiest way to take Pau D’Arco is in tea. Teabags are available from many online pharmacies and supplement stores. Capsules are also available but not as effective, while one innovative supplier has put Pau D’Arco in a spray that is administered orally and rapidly absorbed.

Who should not take Pau D’Arco?

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take Pau D’Arco. Also at risk are sufferers of blood thinning disorders, or those anticipating imminent surgery, as Pau D’Arco can thin the blood.

Pau D’Arco Side Effects

If used in large quantities Pau D’Arco has sometimes been found to weaken the immune system, so keep your doses small.

For lots more information on how to choose the right antifungal, take a look at my Ultimate Candida Diet treatment plan.

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