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Lapacho / Taheebo (Pao d'Arco)

Wikipedia: Lapacho | Teaviews: lapacho-tea 
Last Updated: Dec. 19, 2016 

About Lapacho / Taheebo (Pao d'Arco)

Shredded orange-brown strips of inner barkDried Lapacho, Photo © soultea.de/André Helbig, CC BY-SA 3.0.
Lapacho or Taheebo, is an herbal tea made from the inner bark of the Handroanthus impetiginosus tree, native to the Amazon rainforest and other areas of South America south to northern Argentina.[1]

"Lapacho" refers to both the tree and the tea, whereas "Taheebo" refers only to the tea. Lapacho is sometimes sold under the name Pau d'arco, which can be misleading because that name also refers to different but closely-related tree species.

The Handroanthus impetiginosus (Pink Trumpet) Tree

Tree covered in bright pink blossoms with lower, green trees in background, along a sidewalkA pink trumpet tree in São Paulo. Photo © Ivolindbergh, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0.
The tree used to produce lapacho is the Handroanthus impetiginosus, sometimes classified as Tabebuia impetiginosa or other scientific names. It is called the Pink Trumpet Tree or Pink Lapacho, named for its pink, tumpet-shaped flowers.

This tree has a long and diverse history of use by humans. It is widely planted as an ornamental or landscape tree, and is the national tree of Paraguay. The lumber of this tree is valuable, used to make flooring, and the search for this tree is a driving factor of deforestation in the Amazon. The species is also an important honey plant.

Health effects & medicinal use

Although it is sometimes sold as a beverage, lapacho has mainly been used as a medicinal plant, and has been used to treat diabetes, gastric ulcers, and as a pain killer[2], as well as to treat cancer, tumors, and bacterial infections.[1] One of the active ingredients, lapachol, was found to have anti-cancer properties, but was abandoned as a treatment for cancer because of toxic side-effects from a large enough dosage to fight cancer. Lapacho is best used in moderation due to this toxicity. There is evidence of reproductive toxicity in rats.[3]

References:


1. J. Rubén Gómez Castellanos, José M. Prieto, Michael Heinrich, Red Lapacho (Tabebuia impetiginosa)—A global ethnopharmacological commodity?, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 121, No. 1, Jan. 12, 2009, pp. 1-13.


2. Arvores medicinais - Pau D'arco, University of São Paulo, Retrieved Jan. 21, 2009 (in Portugese)


3. Rita de Cássia da Silveira, Martha de Oliveira Guerra, Reproductive toxicity of lapachol in adult male Wistar rats submitted to short-term treatment, Phytotherapy Research, Vol. 21, No. 7, pp. 658-662.

Recent Lapacho Reviews — RSS rss icon

57 / 100
Picture of Lapacho (Pao d'archo) Bold Leaf

Mild, woody aroma, with a hint of wintergreen. The smell reminds me of the inside of some people's homes...it's a homey, comfortable, familiar sort of smell, but slightly medicinal. This tea is slightly sweet, and very mellow.

After drinking two cups (the sample only really makes three) I'm still not sure how I fe...

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Picture of Lapacho (Pao d'archo) Bold Leaf

Lapacho (Pao d'archo) Bold Leaf

Brand:Upton Tea Imports
Style:Lapacho / Taheebo (Pao d'Arco)
Region:Brazil
Caffeine:Caffeine Free
Leaf:Loose
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