Pau d’ Arco is a large canopy tree native to the Amazon rainforest and other parts of South and Latin America. Growing up to 100 feet tall and 10 feet wide, its high-quality wood is some of the heaviest and most durable wood in the tropics. Pau d’Arco gathered interest from researchers by the fact it does not have fungus growth, even in the lush tropical conditions of the Amazon jungle. This makes it an ideal wood for use in the construction of anything from houses to farm tools.
Translated from the Portuguese language, pau means “wood” and arco means “bow”, describing one of the common traditional uses of the wood as a hunting bow. Common tribal names for this tree translate as “bow stick” and “bow stem.” The Guarani and Tupi tribes call the tree “tajy”, which means “to have strength and vigor.”
Pau d’ Arco contains compounds such as quinoids, benzenoids, flavonoids and beta-lapachone. The primary focus of studies on Pau d’ Arco has been on the chemical lapachol. It is uncertain if it’s this specific chemical or a combination of compounds found in Pau d’ Arco that make it such an amazing healing herb.