Scientific Name(S): Tabebuia avellanedae Lorentz ex Griseb. Family: Bignoniaceae (Trumpet creepers). This species is synonymous with T. impetiginosa Mart. ex DC., T. heptaphylla Veil. Toledo, and T. ipe Mart. ex Schum. The distinct related species Tecoma curialis Solhanha da Gama is sometimes marketed under the same names.
Common Name(S): Taheebo, Pau d'Arco, Lapacho morado, Lapacho colorado, lpe Roxo
Also known as Pau d' Arco. Taheebo is found in rain forests in South America. It is a powerful herb with antibiotic and virus-killing properties. It gives the body the energy needed to defend itself and to help resist diseases.
Botany: Tabebuia is a large genus of tropical trees that grows worldwide. According to one source, the correct name for the source species is T. impetiginosa; however, the majority of biological and chemical studies of the plant refer to T. avellaneda. The commercial product is derived from the inner bark. The tree grows widely throughout tropical South America, including Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina. It has a hard, durable, and attractive wood that is extremely resistant to insect and fungal attack.
History: Taheebo has been promoted for many years as an anticancer herb, and lay reports have claimed efficacy in a variety of cancers. Antifungal and antibiotic properties are also claimed in promotional literature, with both topical and oral dosing for candidiasis.
Uses of Taheebo
Taheebo is widely used in alternative cancer therapy without sufficient scientific proof. It may be more useful in antifungal applications, although no clinical trials have been conducted for any indication.
It is used in South America to battle cancer and leukemia. It is useful in aiding the body in fighting and healing from all chronic diseases, immunodeficiency diseases, diarrhea, and intestinal infections.
Side Effects of Taheebo
There are no reported serious side effects.
Toxicology: The toxicology of lapachol was studied in detail by Morrison et al., who found hemolytic anemia to be the principle limiting toxicity in dogs, monkeys, rats, and mice. Human toxicity because of lapachol was seen at doses > 1.5 g/day, with an elevated prothrombin time that was reversed by administration of vitamin K. Because lapachol is not a major constituent of taheebo bark, these studies are not entirely relevant to the commercial product. No toxicology has been reported for either the bark extract or its main constituents.
Do not use taheebo with anticoagulants.
Summary: Taheebo, also known as Pau d'Arco and lpe Roxo, is derived from the inner bark of Tabebuia avellanedae and related species. Lapachol has been mistakenly identified as the active constituent, whereas the furanonaphthoquinones appear to be responsible for the biological activity of the product. Widely used in alternative cancer therapy without sufficient scientific proof, it may be more useful in antifungal applications, although no clinical trials appear to have been conducted for any indication. There are no reports of serious adverse effects; however, it should not be used with anticoagulants.
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