By Dr. Mercola
Pau d’Arco — made from the bark of a large evergreen tropical tree found in the rainforests of the Amazon, South America and Latin America1 — is a potent antiparasitic remedy with a long history of use by indigenous populations. It also has antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as analgesic, antioxidant, astringent and laxative effects. It’s one of the supplements I take on a daily basis for its mitochondrial, immune-boosting and antiaging benefits.
Uses and Benefits of Pau D’Arco
Traditional and indigenous medicine has used Pau d’Arco for at least 1,500 years for the treatment of wounds, aches and pains, malaria and other tropical diseases, colitis, respiratory infections, fever, inflammation, boils, ulcers and more. Many of its benefits have been traced back to blood cleansing compounds and compounds that inhibit harmful microorganisms.
Pau D’Arco Boosts Energy Production in Your Mitochondria
Interestingly, one of the ingredients in this tree bark is beta-lapachone, which is a potent catalyst for a molecule called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). NAD+, found in every cell in your body, is a receptor for electrons in the electron transport chain in your mitochondria. By increasing NAD+ intercellularly, Pau d’Arco helps improve mitochondrial ATP production. This is beneficial for health in general, but it’s particularly important if you’re fighting disease.
NAD+ also acts as a signaling molecule — it basically acts as a sensor for stress and disease. (For an extensive discussion on what…