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lapacho tea

10 Reasons to Drink Lapacho Tea and How to Prepare

I discovered lapacho tea only recently – I had heard about it before but only now decided to try it out myself. Here’s why!

Lapacho is an evergreen tree, with rosy coloured flowers. Nearly 100 species of lapacho trees are known, but only a few of these yield high quality material, and it takes extremely skilled gatherers to tell the difference. Lapacho is also known by the Portuguese name of Pau D’Arco, and by tribal names such as Taheebo and Ipe Roxo.

The native Indians of Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and other South American countries have used lapacho for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Lapacho tea is also called the “tea of the Incas.” This herbal tea, which is popular in South America, provides a number of health benefits. It is made using the inner bark of the lapacho tree called the Pink Ipe that is native to South America. This herbal tea does not contain caffeine, and it is rich in essential vitamins and minerals that help maintain health and vitality. Lapacho tea, for example, contains iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iodine, boron and barium.

Learn about another natural remedy, i.e. celery juice:

Health Benefits of Lapacho Tea

  1. It treats and prevents different diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes, bowel problems, bladder infections, asthma and cancer. Its use in many ways parallels that of the immuno-stimulants echinacea on this continent and ginseng in Asia, except that its action appears to exceed them both in terms of its potential as a cancer treatment. The absence of side effects makes lapacho a treatment of choice even in conjunction with standard forms of therapy. The user has nothing to lose and much to gain from the judicious use of lapacho.
  2. It has laxative effect. Regular use of lapacho will maintain regularity of bowel movements. Users of lapacho universally report a pleasant and moderate loosening of the bowels that leads to greater regularity without any unpleasant side-effects such as diarrhoea.
  3. It works as a natural antibiotic.
  4. It has anti-aging effect. Trials show definite inhibition of free radicals by lapacho constituents. Free radicals are even heavily implicated in the normal aging process. Reversing their action has become big business in world health circles.
  5. It boosts the immune system and reduces the chances of contracting a medical condition due to its rather potent antimicrobial effects.
  6. It increases blood and bone marrow health. Increased red blood cell production would improve the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This, in turn, could have important implications for the health of tissues throughout the body.
  7. It reduces the symptoms of the flu, colds, fevers, burns, respiratory distress, skin irritation, yeast infections, bone infections, dysentery and other infectious diseases.
  8. Is also useful for treating chronic conditions such as lupus, psoriasis and Parkinson’s disease.
  9. It is useful in combating the side effects that commonly occur with different medications such as dizziness, nausea, anemia and diarrhoea.
  10. It reduces pain, inflammation and other symptoms of arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
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While there can be no doubt that lapacho is very toxic to many kinds of cancer cells, viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites and other kinds of microorganisms, it appears to be without any kind of significant toxicity to healthy human cells. The side-effects mainly encountered, and usually with isolated lapacho constituents, are limited to nausea and anticoagulant effects in very high doses, a tendency to loosen the bowels, and diarrhoea in very high doses. However, some nausea should be expected as a natural consequence of the detoxification process.

How to Prepare Lapacho Tea

There are a number of unique ways to brew lapacho tea. Every region in each country has its own recipe for lapacho tea. The basic recipe for this tea that provides so many health benefits requires two teaspoons of lapacho tree bark for every litre of water. Infuse the tree bark into the boiling water and keep it on a low heat for five to ten minutes. Allow the tea to set for 20 to 30 minutes after removing it from the heat so that it will infuse fully. Keep the tea in your refrigerator after making it. Lapacho tea will stay fresh and retain its health benefits for a few days.

How Much and When to Drink Lapacho Tea

Lapacho can be used periodically as a preventative during colds and flu season, or whenever the chances for infections are high. Experience has taught that lapacho is best ingested as a tea, one or two cups a day, morning and evening. Used in this fashion, it promotes the health of the immune system, helps prevent the onset of colds and flu, keeps the bowel healthy and may impart some of the other important therapeutic effects, including a positive effect on arthritis, pain, localized infection (e.g. candida) and systemic infection.

During periods of acute, active infection, lapacho should be administered several times a day in tea form. It is up to the individual to determine the optimum amount for him or her.

It is highly recommended by folklore wisdom that lapacho be routinely combined with yerbamate. The reasoning, based on centuries of experience in these matters by South American natives, is that the yerbamate has an activating effect on the actions of lapacho. Yerbamate, of course, imparts a good deal of medicinal action itself.


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  1. What about breastfeeding like me? Thank you!

    • Nele Liivlaid

      WebMD says: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: During pregnancy, pau d’arco is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in typical amounts, and LIKELY UNSAFE in larger doses. Not enough is known about the safety of applying it to the skin. Stay on the safe side and avoid use if you are pregnant.

      There is not enough reliable information available about the safety of taking pau d’arco if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

  2. Natalia Beliaeva

    Totally agree with you! Big pharma – get lost!!!!

  3. Natalia Beliaeva

    I think you need to drink 5 l to have this effect!!!

  4. Shirley De

    You can add another benefit of the Pau d Arco Tea. It can be used as a poultice when bitten by spiders, even the Brown Recluse. It pulls the venom out very quickly. I have seen this when people were first bitten or after they have been to the doctor for 1 to 2 weeks. It works.

    Great for Strep Throat too.

  5. Nice blog!
    I am currently trying to overcome candida overgrowth with diet and medicine and I read that lapacho tea is very useful as a treatment against candida. I like the tea so I drank about 1,5 l of it today and I didn’t feel any bad side effects. But some of the comments about toxicity made me wonder.. should I limit my consumption to a specific amount per day? (I’m not pregnant or breastfeeding)

    • Thank you Carla!

      I usually drink 2 cups of it daily, but have drunk more in the past. Unfortunately there is no good resource for upper limit. Dr. Eric Bakker, the author of Candida Crusher http://bit.ly/candida-crusher-book suggests using 3 level tbsps of lapacho bark per 1 litre of water simmering for 20 minutes, and have 2 cups a day between meals.

      I hope your diet is going well! You can find many recipes and tips on my blog!

      All the best! 🙂

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