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.
Health benefits of lapacho tea:
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.
- 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.
- It works as a natural antibiotic.
- 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.
- It boosts the immune system and reduces the chances of contracting a medical condition due to its rather potent antimicrobial effects.
- 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.
- It reduces the symptoms of the flu, colds, fevers, burns, respiratory distress, skin irritation, yeast infections, bone infections, dysentery and other infectious diseases.
Is also useful for treating chronic conditions such as lupus, psoriasis and Parkinson’s disease.
- It is useful in combating the side effects that commonly occur with different medications such as dizziness, nausea, anemia and diarrhoea.
- It reduces pain, inflammation and other symptoms of arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
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?
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.