Taheebo

Scientific names: Tabebuia avellanedae This species is synonymous with T. impetiginosa, T. heptaphyll, and T. ipé. The distinct related species Tecoma curialis Solhanha da Gama sometimes is marketed under the same names.

Common names: Taheebo is also known as Pau d'Arco, Lapacho morado, Lapacho colorado, and Ipé Roxo.

Efficacy-safety rating:

ÒÒ...Ethno or other evidence of efficacy.

Safety rating:

...Little exposure or very minor concerns.

What is Taheebo?

Tabebuia is a large genus of tropical trees that grows worldwide. According to one source, the correct name for the source species is T. impetiginosa; however, the majority of biological and chemical studies of the plant refer to T. avellaneda. The commercial product is derived from the inner bark. The tree grows widely throughout tropical South America, including Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina. It has a hard, durable, and attractive wood that is extremely resistant to insect and fungal attack.

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What is it used for?

Traditional/Ethnobotanical uses

Taheebo has been promoted for many years as an anticancer herb, and lay reports have claimed efficacy in a variety of cancers. However, there is sufficient scientific proof to support this use. Antifungal and antibiotic properties also are claimed in promotional literature, with topical and oral dosing for candidiasis. While taheebo shows some promise, no clinical trials have been conducted for any indication.

What is the recommended dosage?

Taheebo bark has been used as an alternative cancer treatment. However, there are no clinical studies to support a specific dose.

How safe is it?

Contraindications

Do not use taheebo with anticoagulants.

Pregnancy/nursing

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. Avoid use.

Interactions

Do not use taheebo with anticoagulants.

Side Effects

There are no reported serious side effects.

Toxicities

No toxicology has been reported for either the bark extract or its main constituents.

References

  1. Taheebo. Review of Natural Products. factsandcomparisons4.0 [online]. 2004. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed April 23, 2007.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health

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