Lapacho or Taheebo Tea is made from the inner bark of the Pau d’Arco tree, the Purple or Red Lapacho tree (depending on the colour of its flowers). A South American native, tall growing evergreen tree originally found high in the Andes. It has been used by several indigenous native tribes for a number of ailments including infection, fever and stomach complaints. It was the main medicine used by the Inca civilisation and has been used by the Callawaya tribe for over 1,000 years. The trees in some areas are very old, some reputably over 700 years. Only the inner bark, the cambium layer, is used and after harvest the cortex of the Lapacho tree recovers very quickly and the tree does not suffer any permanent damage.
Drinking this tea should produce very positive effects however one should refrain from drinking it constantly, certainly no more than a month without a break. Women who are pregnant should only use it externally and not drink it, one can soak clean cloths and make compresses with Lapacho. Lapacho is very high in trace elements and minerals.
Lapacho as a Tisane should be infused for at least five minutes at a temperature of 100o C, this is a guideline and feel free to adjust to suit personal taste.
An alternative preparation, add one table spoon of bark to one litre of boiling water, simmer for 5 minutes, cover and leave to infuse for another 20 minutes. After straining the tea may be drunk throughout the day. Lapacho may be sweetened with sugar or honey if required.