Pau d’arco is a large deciduous hardwood with pink, trumpet-shaped flowers, and is native to tropical regions throughout Central and South America. The wood is used to make bows and the inner bark has been employed for generations for its wellness-supporting qualities. The Guarani and Tupi tribes of Brazil, as well as the Incas, have been using pau d’arco bark for centuries. Pau d’arco bark powder can be tinctured, encapsulated, or blended into skin care recipes.
One of the best known, but least understood, herbs from the Amazon Rainforest, pau d’arco is a key ingredient in the tribal medicine chest. The pau d’arco tree is a huge canopy tree that grows up to 125 feet high, with pink to violet colored flowers. Its history of use is thought to go back to the Incas, and several tribes have been using it to make bows for centuries. Several native names in fact mean “bow stick” or “bow stem”.
Typical preparations include tea and liquid extract. Like cat’s claw, pau d’arco tincture should be taken in water with a little lemon juice so tannins can be absorbed through the colon. Tabebuia impetiginosa belongs to the Bignoniaceae plant family.