Health Guide

Pau d'arco

What is it?

Pau D'arco is an herbal medicine used to treat cancer. It may also be used to treat an overgrowth of yeast in the bowels and vagina (yeast infections).

Other names for Pau D'arco include: Lapacho, Trumpet Bush, and Roxo.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Pau D'arco you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Pau D'arco. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take Pau D'arco without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Blood thinning medicine (example: warfarin (Coumadin(R))
  • Vitamin K


  • Before taking Pau D'arco, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pau D'arco may cause thin blood which can make you bleed more

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • You may have mild dizziness
  • You may vomit (throw up) or have a stomach ache
  • You may have diarrhea (loose stools)
  • Your urine may turn a pink color


1. Willard T: Chapter 113. Tabebuia avellanedae (Pau D'arco, Ipe Roxo). In: A Textbook of Natural Medicine. Churchill Livingstone; 1998: 967-73.

2. Awang DVC: Commercial taheebo lacks active ingredient. Can Pharm J 1988; 5:323-326.

3. Block JB, Serpick AA, Miller W et al: Early clinical studies with lapachol (NSC-11905). Cancer Chemotherapy Reports 1974; 4(part 2):27-28.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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