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ORLANDO DEI SANTI, M.D., 1960s
Note to researchers: Studies should be carried out to determine how to produce the best results from this herb, yet without inducing slow blood clotting.
Working Summary: Pau d’arco has become an important home remedy for cancer in many countries. It is cheap and easily obtainable.
In the early 1960s, an old-time folk remedy used for centuries in the Amazon basin of Brazil,was given yet again—but this time a physician heard about it.
Dr. Santi learned about a girl which was treated for cancer by her aunt—with a bagful of tree bark.It was pau d’arco. This is the inner bark of the Tabebuia genus (also called Lapacho). The scientific name for the tree is Tabeluia cassinoides.Indians used to fashion the wood into bows, and “pau d’arco” was Spanish for “bow stick.”The girl was in terrible pain with advanced cancer, and the pau d’arco eliminated the cancer.
So Santi took some back home to Sao Paulo and treated his brother with it. He did it, using the formula he had been taught by the natives:He boiled the bark in grape juice, and then mixed it with orange juice. Then he had his brother drink it on an empty stomach. As simple as that.
Soon the cancer was gone.Then another Brazilian physician, Prats Ruiz,reported the successful treatment of three cases of leukemia with pau d’arco tea (A. De Montmorency,Spotlight, June 8, 1981).
The wood had first been noted by researchers because it had anti-malaria factors. This is due to the fact that its most active ingredient, lapachone,is a quinone-like NDGA—the same active ingredient in chaparral (nordihydroguaiaretic acid).Lapachone is generally called lapachol.Early tests revealed lapachol was effective against leukemia. It has been theorized that lapachol is such a powerful anti-cancer factor because it interferes with normal cellular energy production and normal cellular respiration within the tumor. Because cancers grow so fast,they waste away when their energy source is removed.
Keep in mind that Lapachol is not pau d’arco,but an extraction of its most active chemical compound. Lapachol has been found to dangerously slow blood clotting (by interfering with vitamin K metabolism), when given in large enough doses to kill tumors. It also causes anemia.A safe dosage of lapachol has not been determined because of the anemia and slowed clotting produced.
But the natural form, pau d’arco tea, appears to have no severe side effects. However,keep in mind that the tea has not been studied extensively. This is because an herb tea cannot be patented and therefore sold at a great profit. So only common folk want to bother with it.
The treatment used in Brazil, by the nationals,for cancer and other diseases is this: They take 1 or more 8-ounce glasses of pau d’arco tea each day.