Lapacho or Pao d'Arco Tea Not Safe For Regular Use As Beverage or Tonic
Lapacho tea, or Pao d'Arco tea, an herbal tea made from a tree native to South America, has been promoted as a beverage or tonic having "health benefits". RateTea searched the scientific literature and found evidence that it is not safe for such use.
Lapacho tea pictured below, image courtesy of André Helbig, CC BY-SA 3.0.
Traditional medicinal use of the herbal tea
Some traditional cultures have used lapacho to treat a variety of ailments, including diabetes, gastric ulcers, cancer, and various infections. In traditional uses however, it is used only temporarily, in specific cases, to treat specific conditions, not used as a tonic or long-term treatment.
Marketing or promotion of lapacho for "health benefits"
Some websites tout "Lapacho tea benefits", particularly promoting it as a cancer-fighting herb or promoting its "health benefits", advocating for drinking it regularly. Such usage is supported neither by science nor traditional usage.
Health concerns or risks associated with Lapacho or Pao d'Arco use:
Although one chemical in Lapacho had been studied for its potential anti-cancer activity, its investigation was abandoned after it was found to have toxicity at much lower doses than that required for its anti-cancer effect. There is also evidence from animal studies that the herb may be a reproductive toxin. Its use is not currently recommended by any major medical organizations.
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Founder and Editor, RateTea