Lapacho Tea - a tea with great health effects?


Lapacho tea generally has the following effects:

-                   oxygenating

-                   increase in the number of red blood cells,

-                   blood purifying,

-                   anti-inflammatory,

-                   antibacterial,

-                   antitumoural,

-                   antiviral,

-                   antifungal (fungicidal),

-                   antioxidant,

-                   immune system-invigorating,

-                   blood pressure-regulating,

-                   base-forming,

-                   analgesic,

-                   detoxifying,

-                   purifying,

-                   antipyretic,

-                   wound healing,

-                   skin cleansing,

-                   decongestant

-                   toning,

-                   revitalising,

-                   diaphoretic,

-                   diuretic,

-                   calming

-                   digestive.


Oxygenating effect

The astonishing, oxygenating action of lapacho tea invigorates the body's cells and effectively destroys bacteria, protozoa, fungi and viruses in this particular, bound form. Atherosclerosis (vascular calcification) is reduced and the blood vessels become flexible again.

Anti-inflammatory effect

Due to its anti-inflammatory effect, lapacho tea has been successfully used for inflammatory diseases by Indian tribes for hundreds of years. Not only are such conditions alleviated, but even complete healings of severe inflammatory diseases such as arthritis have been reported.


Antibacterial and antiviral effects

Lapacho tea is extremely antibiotic and antiviral, which is why it has been used as a natural antibiotic for centuries and has proven itself against herpes, HIV and malaria. In particular, the ingredient lapachol and another twelve quinones which have been researched have extraordinary antibiotic properties.

Antifungal (fungicidal) effect

Lapacho tea has an antifungal (fungicidal) effect, which is why it has traditionally been used against even stubborn fungus species such as Candida albicans.

Antioxidant effect

The quinones in lapacho tea bind free radicals and give lapacho tea its antioxidative effect. One cannot overstate this, considering that every single one of our body cells is attacked on a daily basis by up to 10 000 free radicals and these are responsible for most diseases and cell ageing.

Immune-system-strengthening effect

Lapacho tea stimulates the activity of the macrophages and phagocytes, which tackle hostile invaders in our bodies which cause diseases. In his doctoral thesis, the researcher Bernhard Kreher analysed the effect of lapacho and came to the conclusion that the activity of the body's immune system is increased by over 48 %.[1]

Analgesic effect

Lapacho tea has an analgesic effect against many diseases, especially cancers such as breast, liver and prostate cancer.

Detoxifying effect

Lapacho tea has a harmonising effect on the digestive organs, stimulates liver and kidney function and thus helps detoxify the body.

Wound-healing effect of lapacho

Traditionally, lapacho tea has been used by Indian tribes to accelerate wound healing for centuries, due to the high content of tannin and calcium oxalate. Here, the astringent effect of the lapacho is utilised. This refers to the ability to tighten the mucous membranes and skin during bleeding, allowing accelerated wound healing.



Specific effects of lapacho tea

The general, highly varied effects of lapacho tea already suggest that it is able to treat many illnesses and physical ills.

Lapacho tea has been used successfully against the following diseases and conditions:

-       immune deficiency

-       AIDS

-       allergies

-       atherosclerosis (vascular calcification)

-       arthritis

-       respiratory diseases (asthma, bronchitis)

-       anaemia

-       Candida albicans

-       chemotherapy

-       intestinal pain

-       diabetes

-       eczema

-       detoxification (e.g. alcoholism and other substance abuse)

-       cold

-       erysipelas

-       athlete’s foot

-       gastritis

-       joint pain

-       cataracts

-       flu

-       shingles

-       sore throat

-       skin diseases

-       blemishes

-       haemorrhoids

-       yeast infections

-       cough

-       periostitis

-       varicose veins

-       cancer

-       leukaemia

-       liver disease

-       hernia

-       lupus

-       malaria

-       migraines

-       spleen infections

-       multiple sclerosis (MS)

-       sinusitis

-       eczema

-       oedema

-       fungal diseases of all kinds/vaginal fungus

-       polyps

-       prostatitis

-       rheumatism

-       pain of all kinds

-       psoriasis

-       mental balance

-       vaginal discharge

-       burns

-       indigestion

-       warts

-       wounds

-       gum inflammation

Effect on immune deficiency

Lapacho tea has been shown to be immunostimulating (see ‘Immune system-strengthening effect’)

Effect on AIDS

Due to the immune-building effect, lapacho tea can also help treat AIDS. It strengthens the immune system, strengthens the organs and prevents secondary infections typical of AIDS.

Effect on allergies

Lapacho tea has been proven to counteract allergies of all kinds due to its immunoregulatory effect (see also ‘Using Lapacho’).

Effect against atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is commonly referred to as ‘vascular calcification’ and describes a degenerative state of change within our blood vessels, which often leads to an advanced stage heart attack or stroke. Lapacho tea is able to loosen the deposits in the arteries in the longer term, make the blood vessels elastic again and at least partially reverse atherosclerosis.

Effect on arthritis

Lapacho tea, with its proven anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties, is particularly effective for arthritis and can both relieve the pain and strongly support recovery from the disease.

Respiratory effects (asthma, bronchitis)

The cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties strongly promote recovery from respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. The antiviral and antiseptic effects of lapacho and its immunostimulating effect have a significant impact.

Effect on blood iron deficiency

Anaemia, also known as iron deficiency, is often characterised by insufficient absorption of iron from food and tumours in the gastrointestinal tract that lead to blood loss. 

On the one hand, lapacho tea has sufficient iron, on the other hand, its antibiotic effect combats possible tumours which can cause bleeding.



Effect on Candida albicans

As we have seen above, lapacho tea also has an antifungal (fungicidal) effect and, according to many reports, can even tackle persistent fungi, such as Candida albicans.

Lapacho tea has a gut-cleansing effect, with the gut considered to be the breeding ground of Candida albicans. By also strengthening the immune system, lapacho tea provides optimal conditions for killing Candida albicans – here, however, great patience is required, because it may take up to a year and sometimes longer until the Candida is completely destroyed!

Effect during chemotherapy

Through several mechanisms that occur simultaneously on different fronts, lapacho tea provides relief during chemotherapy.

Lapacho tea strengthens the immune system attacked by the chemo and has a soothing effect on the psyche. It also helps flush out the dying cancer cells, which can cause severe pollution and even act as a poison, more effectively from the body.

The kidneys are relieved, the intestines are cleaned and the mucous membranes are protected; overall, the side effects of chemotherapy are significantly reduced.


Effect on intestinal pain

Our highly industrialised diet, antibiotics in animal husbandry, environmental factors and stress together ensure that we usually have a disturbed intestinal flora.

Even Paracelsus knew: ‘Death is in the gut’! Thus, the intestine is indeed the linchpin for a strong immune system and essentially decides whether we are healthy or ill!

Kenneth Jones writes in his book ‘Pau d'Arco – Immune Power from the Rain Forest’:

‘One of my informants told me about a child with chronic diarrhoea who seemed resistant to any treatment. The child was cured with just half a cup of (lapacho) tea. But I also interviewed a woman in virtually the opposite situation:

She told me that she had suffered from chronic constipation for 10 years, which eventually paralysed the bowel. She was using suppositories and a whole range of laxatives at this time.

In one operation, she had over 40 cm of intestine removed, yet the constipation did not improve. It was not until she took lapacho that there was a dramatic change: Within a week she was free of all complaints – no suppositories and laxatives.’[2]

Effect on diabetes 

Lapacho tea is also able to have an impressive impact on diabetes.

In her highly recommended book ‘ABC of Lapacho Tea – Therapeutic Use’, author Marcela Ocampo Méndez quotes some doctors at the Sao Paulo Clinic who wrote about diabetes patients they treated in the 1960s:

They wrote: ‘We have observed, and so far have no explanation, that the use (of lapacho) alleviates juvenile diabetes (Type 1 diabetes ) in an impressive way. The glucose values have declined to the normal level of a healthy person in some cases’.

How does lapacho work against diabetes?

Lapacho tea inhibits glucose uptake in the gut; the blood sugar level rises more evenly and the pancreas, which does not suddenly have to produce insulin to compensate, is relieved. Thereupon, long-chain carbohydrates are increasingly used to supply requirements, which counteracts a craving for sweets and, as a result, the pancreas continues to regenerate.

In addition, lapacho tea increases the oxygen supply to the organs and can thus exert a healing effect on damage caused by diabetes.

Effect against eczema

The causes of eczema are often multifactorial and may be due to both mental stress and infections and allergies – very often, however, it is due to a weakened immune system. And this is exactly where lapacho tea brings its immune-building abilities into play!

Effect on detoxification (alcoholism or other drugs)

Lapacho tea can normalise metabolism and detoxify the body.

Effect on colds

The antiseptic, antiviral and immune-building properties of lapacho tea make it a perfect choice of remedy for colds.

Effect against athlete's foot

Fungus can only spread in the body if our immune system is weakened. As a true immuno-booster, lapacho tea can help you internally and positively influence the healing process externally via its antifungal effect.




Examples of lapacho use, from A to Z

Use against immune deficiency

Since the immune system plays a crucial role in all diseases, it should be kept strong for life. Use should therefore be continuous in case of immune deficiency – drink 3 cups of lapacho tea a day.

Use against AIDS/HIV

For serious diseases such as AIDS, it is advisable to take a dual approach. This means using highly concentrated lapacho capsules (1 capsule corresponds to about 1 litre of tea) in conjunction with normal lapacho tea. A general dosage recommendation is not possible for AIDS or HIV and should be discussed with a naturopath or complementary physician.

Use against allergies 

Depending on the severity level, take 1.5 litres of lapacho tea over several weeks and supplement with lapacho capsules for severe allergies.

Use against arthritis

Distributed throughout the day, drink 1 litre of unsweetened lapacho tea daily between meals. Furthermore, apply compresses soaked in lapacho several times a day.

Use against anaemia

Drink 3-4 cups of lapacho tea daily for four to six weeks. If there is an improvement, 2-3 cups a day will usually suffice.

Use against respiratory diseases

In respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis and asthma, a dual use of lapacho tea has proven to be successful, both in the form of oral ingestion and concomitantly in the form of inhalations. In severe cases, supplementation with lapacho capsules is recommended.

Drink 3-4 cups of lapacho tea sweetened with honey every day – the honey also has an effect on the bronchi. Lapacho tea is also suitable as an inhalant: Boil in the pot, in a strength double that used for drinking. After the tea has cooled down slightly, place a towel over the head and the pot to minimise the amount of air that can escape and inhale for 12-15 minutes.

Use against Candida albicans 

Candida albicans requires lengthy treatment, which should consist of a corresponding diet and stimulation of the immune system. 3-4 cups of lapacho tea a day are recommended, with 1-2 lapacho capsules.

Use with chemotherapy

Lapacho tea provides multifactorial, beneficial effects during chemotherapy: on the one hand, it strengthens the immune system which is attacked by chemotherapy and has a pain-relieving effect on the psyche, while on the other hand it helps to flush out the dying cancer cells, which can heavily burden and even poison the organism, more effectively from the body. The kidneys are relieved, the intestine is cleansed and the mucous membranes are protected. Conclusion: the side effects of chemotherapy are reduced.

It is recommended to drink 1 litre of lapacho tea daily between meals, possibly supplemented by 1-2 lapacho capsules. Here it is important to avoid sugar, as sugar nourishes the cancer! If you like sweetness, you can easily use stevia, which is a healthy alternative to sugar and unhealthy artificial sweeteners.

Use against intestinal pain

Lapacho proves to be highly effective against bowel disorders, including diarrhoea and constipation. Here, lapacho acts on several fronts:

-                   It regulates the intestinal flora,

-                   digestion and

-                   has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Drinking 1 litre of lapacho tea between meals for several months is recommended.

Use against diabetes

According to numerous observations, lapacho tea can not only alleviate diabetes, especially Type 1 (juvenile diabetes), but even cure it by normalising sugar levels.

For this purpose, it is recommended to take 1 litre unsweetened lapacho tea daily between meals, possibly also 1 lapacho capsule. Whoever wants to sweeten their tea can use diabetic-friendly stevia!

Use against eczema

For eczema, it is recommended to use lapacho tea both internally and externally.

External application: through its disinfecting effect, lapacho tea kills bacteria and fungi on the skin. Immerse a cloth in lapacho tea, allow to cool and dab the affected areas; repeat several times a day. Even full baths with lapacho tea support this effect considerably.

Inner application: drink about 1 litre of lapacho tea between meals during the day.

Use for detoxification (e.g. alcoholism or drug abuse)

Detoxification and normalisation of metabolism will be recommended for at least four to six months. In the first two to four weeks, you should drink about 1.5 l of lapacho tea, followed by about ¾ litres. In addition, full lapacho baths are recommended 1-3 times a week.

Use for colds

Drink 4-5 cups of lapacho tea daily. It is advisable to sweeten the tea with honey, since honey has a positive effect on colds.

Use against athlete's foot

As with all fungal diseases, internal and the external treatment with lapacho are absolutely essential!

External treatment: immerse a cloth in lapacho tea, allow to cool and dab the areas affected by Athlete’s foot; repeat several times a day. Even whole foot baths with lapacho tea prove to be very helpful. 

Internal use: distribute about 500 ml to 1 litre of lapacho tea between meals during the day.

Use against gastritis

Drink about 1 litre of unsweetened lapacho tea throughout the day until symptoms recede. Once the symptoms have receded, 2-3 cups of lapacho tea a day are enough to maintain the effect.

Use for joint complaints

Distributed throughout the day, drink 1 litre of unsweetened lapacho tea between meals. Furthermore, apply compresses soaked in lapacho several times a day.

Use against cataracts

In the case of cataracts, it is important to try out the traditional South American treatment, which involves both drinking lapacho tea and applying an eye wash made with cooled lapacho tea.

Internal use: distributed throughout the day, drink 2-5 cups of unsweetened lapacho tea between meals.

External application: rinse eyes several times a day with cloths soaked in cold lapacho tea.

Use with flu

Drink 4-5 cups of lapacho tea with honey throughout the day.

Shingles treatment

Of course, using the healing properties of lapacho tea both externally and internally is also recommended for shingles.

Internal use: drink about 1 litre of unsweetened lapacho tea between meals throughout the day.

External application: dab the affected areas several times a day with cloths soaked in cooled lapacho tea.

Use against sore throat

For all oral conditions, it is recommended to gargle lapacho tea for a few minutes before swallowing it – this way, you can enjoy the external and internal effects of the lapacho tea.

Use against skin diseases

For skin diseases, it is important to make extensive use of lapacho tea, consisting of regularly drinking the tea, the dabbing of the affected areas with tea-soaked cloths and the regular taking of full or partial baths (depending on the location on the body).

During the day, you should drink 1 litre of unsweetened lapacho tea between meals (if you prefer your tea sweet, you should use stevia!).

Use for blemishes

For skin blemishes such as blackheads, pimples or acne, extensive use of lapacho tea is recommended, which includes both drinking, dabbing with soaked towels, and appropriate baths (in the case of skin blemishes all over the body).

During the day, you should drink 1 litre of unsweetened lapacho tea between meals (if you prefer your tea sweet, you should use the healthy sugar substitute stevia!).

Use against haemorrhoids

The external and internal use of lapacho tea have also been proven to be effective against haemorrhoids.

Inner application: you should drink 1 l of unsweetened lapacho tea throughout the day.

External application: the external use of lapacho tea for haemorrhoids is to dab the haemorrhoids as often as possible with cloths moistened with lapacho tea, at least after every bowel movement. Furthermore, full baths of lapacho are ideal!

Use against yeast infections

For yeast infections, 3-4 cups of lapacho tea per day are recommended.

Use against coughing

Coughs should be treated like bronchitis , i.e. there should be a combination of external and internal application. In addition to drinking lapacho tea, regular inhalations are recommended.

Drink for cough: drink 3-4 cups of lapacho tea sweetened with honey every day – the honey also has an effect on the bronchi.

For inhalation: make the lapacho tea in the pot as usual. After the tea has cooled down slightly, place a towel over the head and the pot to minimise the amount of air that can escape and inhale for 12-15 minutes. The tea is of course still suitable for drinking.

Use against periostitis

For periostitis, drink 1 litre of lapacho tea throughout the day, and place compresses with cooled tea on the affected area.

Use against varicose veins

There are sensationally successful reports of patients with varicose veins who have been able to cure their varicose veins with an ointment from lapacho bark in four months. To do this, mix a standard cream with a lapacho extract – one drop of lapacho extract per ml of cream.

Use against cancer

For serious ailments, as cancer unquestionably is, one should consult an accomplished therapist. For the most part, a therapist will recommend lapacho capsules in combination with lapacho tea, several times a day.

Use against liver disease

For severe liver problems, lapacho capsules may be recommended; in addition, drink lapacho tea several times a day. Liver wraps with lapacho tea are also ideal for supporting the liver metabolism.

Use against leukaemia

In South America, lapacho tea is a traditional cure for leukaemia, and there are many documented cases where lapacho has achieved significant improvement in a few weeks, as measured, among other things, by the number of white blood cells.

Drink 1 litre of lapacho tea (unsweetened!) throughout the day; take 1-2 lapacho capsules.


[1] Walter Lübeck: Heilen mit Lapacho-Tee (‘Healing with Lapacho Tea’), 8th Edition 1999, p. 35


[2] Marcela Ocampo Méndez, ABC des Lapacho-Tees – Heilanwendungen (‘ABC of Lapacho Tea – Therapeutic Use’), 1997, p. 61 f.

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