Devine Medicine Lapacho

Lapacho – If it was good for the Aztecs and Incas, it’s good for me.

lapachol is one of the most important anti-tumour agents in the entire world. Research has shown that it contains a natural antibacterial agent, has a healing effect on the whole body, cleanses the blood, and kills viruses. It builds the immune system, nerves and increases resistance to disease.  It is used for the treatment of all types of cancer, all kinds of arthritis, painful legs, bones, joints, feet and other troublesome infections. Lapacho is an ozoniferous tree. It grows where there is an abundance of ozone. Ozone air is fresh and pure and free from pollution, smog, exhaust, smoke and pesticides.

The Red and Purple Lapacho tree grows high in the Andes of the South American rainforest. The Red Lapacho’s purple-coloured inner bark was one of the leading medicines used by the sacred healers of the Incas for over 1,000 years.

Lapacho is a natural treatment for hundreds of human ailments, including cancer, ageing, viral and bacterial diseases, diabetes, dementia and 100 types of Arthritis.

One of the last great, but mostly untapped, reserves of natural resources on the face of the earth is South America. The herbal medicines that abound on this continent have been largely denied to the rest of the world; the inaccessibility of the vast forests, combined with a general lack of interest, have kept the secrets of the region shrouded in darkness. Africa is a continent of light by contrast.


Much of the Lapacho material coming into the western world has been falsely identified, or contaminated, or harvested incorrectly. Rare is the importer who even knows what to look for with intelligence.

The chances of obtaining good quality Lapacho in any health food stores are slim. A vast majority of commercial lapacho is void of significant activity. The reason is primarily lack of quality control at every stage of the enterprise:

  • gatherers, unaware as to which parts of the plant contain the active material, harvest all parts of the plant;
  • curers, unaware of the traditional lapacho curing practices, make assumptions that are more often wrong than right;
  • shippers pay little attention to protecting the material from the hazards of transportation;
  • manufacturers, unaware of what constitutes good lapacho, having never bothered to go to South America and have a look, don’t have any idea how to set up quality control or standardisation practices that guarantee activity.
  • Nearly 100 species of lapacho trees are known, but only a few of these yields’ high-quality material, and it takes extremely skilled gatherers to tell the difference.

The one I trust is Canamere, the distributor of Aruca who specialises in this and other selective herbs. More about them at the end of this article.

Lapacho is used to relieve pain, kill germs, increase the flow of urine, and even as an antidote to poisons.  It is applied externally and internally for the treatment of fevers, infections, colds, flu, syphilis, cancer, respiratory problems, skin ulcerations and boils, dysentery, gastrointestinal issues of all kinds, debilitating conditions such as arthritis and prostatitis, and circulation disturbances; other conditions have reportedly been cured with lapacho including lupus, diabetes, Hodgkin’s disease, osteomyelitis, Parkinson’s disease, and psoriasis.

The science of lapacho began adequately with the work of Theodoro Meyer, an award-winning botanist in Argentina who worked for decades showing the world of the value of lapacho for infections and cancer. Data from his laboratory are astounding in terms of the success rate observed when applying the herb in dozens of different kinds of cancer.

Unfortunately, the medical and pharmaceutical giants blocked his evidence calling it unscientific. The sheer bulk of the competent evidence for the efficacy of lapacho from thousands of testimonials, ended with his death in 1972, with the scientific world left still mostly unconvinced of the usefulness of lapacho as a modern medicinal agent. Perhaps the most important thing Meyer accomplished, from a scientific point of view, was to bring lapacho to the attention of the rest of world, how to extract the plant from the jungles of the Amazon, and announce, “Here is a thousand-year-old folk remedy with great promise for all mankind.”

After hearing a tale of its miraculous curative powers, independent of Meyer, a physician in Brazil, used lapacho to treat his brother who was lying in a Brazil hospital, dying of cancer. His brother recovered, and the physician, Dr Orlando dei Santi, began to use the herb to treat other cancer patients at the hospital. Other physicians joined the team, and after a few months, several case histories of cures were recorded. In the typical case, the pain disappeared rapidly, and sometimes complete remission was achieved in as little as four weeks.

Because of the work at the Municipal Hospital of Santo Andre, lapacho has become a standard form of treatment for some kinds of cancer and all sorts of infections in medical establishments throughout Brazil.

It should be noted that after the first reports of “miraculous” herbal cures appeared in Brazil, the national government ordered a blackout of any more public statements by doctors involved in the research. Another block by big pharma and the medical profession.

The weight of the South American clinical evidence has stimulated research interest abroad. Pharmaceutical companies regularly screen lapacho for the presence of substances that could be the basis for new drug applications and patents to sell. However, no separate component of lapacho comes anywhere close to being equal to the combined activity of all constituents, or, in other words, to the whole herb.

The following is a summary of some of the effects of lapacho and any of its constituents that have been validated by modern research:


Lapacho has been extensively investigated for potential anti-cancer activity. Research that involved the whole lapacho has produced clinical anti-cancer effects without side effects.

In one clinical study, 33 South American researchers administered lapacho to patients with various forms of cancer, including adenocarcinoma of the liver, breast and prostate, and squamous carcinoma of the palate and uterine cervix. Taken orally, the substance resulted in a temporary reduction of all conditions and a significant reduction in pain. Duration of treatment was an average of about two months.

A Note on Nausea: In the human study reported above, some patients dropped out of the experiment due to nausea. This is a common observation in some, people who begin to experience the cleansing action of lapacho. As toxins and wastes are drawn out of the cells, or flushed out, or physiologically expelled from the cells, through the effect of the herb, they tend at times to accumulate in the blood, lymph, lymph nodes, skin, liver and kidneys awaiting the opportunity to be expelled from the body. Backing up, they can, on occasion produce sensations such as nausea; the body may even try to rid itself of some toxic substances by vomiting. These temporary signs dissipate once the toxins are moving freely from the body. They are a positive sign that the herb is working. Remember the body only has three basic processes for getting rid of wastes: lower bowel movement, sweating, urinating. The use of lapacho can so overload these processes in the early stages that discomfort may be produced.

The more significant part of the basic research on lapacho, has dealt directly with the cancer question. This issue is of great importance. Any tendency of lapacho to improve the treatment of cancer should be made known to all persons likely to benefit from it. The absence of side effects makes lapacho a treatment of choice even in conjunction with standard forms of therapy. The user has nothing to lose and much to gain from the use of lapacho.

Some constituents or groups of constituents of lapacho have indeed been found to suppress tumour formation and reduce tumour viability. In addition, anecdotal data abound to such an extent that to overlook its importance is to turn one’s back on a potentially invaluable source of aid and health. Leukaemia has proven particularly susceptible to the application of lapacho and several of its constituents. Some researchers feel that lapachol is one of the most essential anti-tumour agents in the entire world.


One of the most potent actions of lapacho is against viruses. The range of viruses inactivated by lapacho extends from those that cause the common cold to those that are responsible for AIDS. It has been shown to actively inhibit, kill or stunt the growth of several dangerous viruses, including herpes virus, poliovirus, vesicular stomatitis virus, and several other viruses.

It inhibits enzymes in virus cells that directly affect the synthesis of DNA and RNA. It is also a potent inhibitor of the reverse enzyme transcriptase (converts RNA back to DNA), involved in RNA/DNA relationships. Once these processes are inhibited, the virus is unable to take over the reproductive processes of the cell and cannot, therefore, replicate itself and infect other cells.

Production of red blood cells.

Part of the effectiveness of lapacho may stem from its observed ability to stimulate the production of red blood cells in bone marrow. Increased red blood cell production would improve the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This, in turn, could have important implications for the health of tissues throughout the body. Also needed for oxygen transport by red cells is iron. This might explain the augmentation in lapacho’s therapeutic properties when it is combined with iron-rich natural food diet using microgreens like kale, spinach, beans and dark green leafy veggies.

Anti-oxidant – Anti-aging.

Free radicals and inflammatory reactions are restrained by lapacho. This property might underlie the effectiveness of lapacho against skin cancer and helps to explain observed anti-ageing effects. Modern science has recently uncovered the importance of free radicals in the generation of many debilitating diseases, from cancer to arthritis. These molecules are even heavily implicated in the normal ageing process. Reversing their action has become big business in world health circles. Anti-oxidants, or free-radical scavengers, have emerged as premier candidates for the role of healers and disease-preventers. Among the antioxidants, few have a higher potency than the constituents of lapacho.

Laxative effect.

Regular use of lapacho will maintain the regularity of bowel movements. Users of lapacho universally report a pleasant and moderate loosening of the bowels that leads to greater regularity without any unpleasant side-effects such as diarrhoea.

Pain Releasing.

The administration of lapacho is consistently credited in reports issuing from South American clinics as a primary modality for lessening the pain associated with several kinds of cancer, especially cancer of the prostate, liver and breast. Arthritic pain has also been relieved with lapacho ingestion from my personal experience.

Antimicrobial/anti-parasiticidal effects.

Lapacho includes inhibition and destruction of acid-fast bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses and several kinds of parasites. Two troublesome families of viruses inhibited by lapachol are noteworthy: Herpes viruses and HIV’s. Together, these viruses account for much of the misery of humanity. Lapacho’s immunostimulant action is due in part to its rather potent antimicrobial effects.

Anti-fungal effect.

Lapacho is often singled out as the premier treatment for Candida or yeast infections. It would be misleading to categorically state that lapacho have antimicrobial and anti-fungal activity in and of themselves. They need to be taken in conjunction with other herbs as are built into Aruca.


The anti-inflammatory action of Lapacho reduces the pain, inflammation and other symptoms of many types of arthritis in the legs and joints. Anecdotal accounts of complete cures are even available. As yet virtually untested in research settings, the purported ability of this plant to reduce symptoms of the joint disease may be ultimately validated and added to the growing list of benefits to be even enjoyed, by the daily ingestion of lapacho tea.


Lapacho components have been intensively studied in terms of their action against two rather nasty parasites both responsible for significant disease and misery in tropical countries. Lapacho was effective against both. Taken by mouth, it is eventually secreted onto the skin via the glands where it acts as a barrier, inactivating microorganisms soon after they contact the skin. Meanwhile, throughout the G.I-tract from the mouth to the anus, it is performing the identical function on the mucous membranes, preventing the penetration of parasites.

Cellular Functions

Every cell of the body requires oxygen and glucose to obtain energy for life-sustaining functions. The oxygen and glucose are subjected to a complex metabolic process in the tiny energy-producing structures in the cell called mitochondria. This process requires numerous enzymes and coenzymes.

The oxygen and glucose are converted to carbon dioxide and water which are then returned to the blood. The lungs exhale the CO2; excess water is eventually drawn off through perspiration or the kidneys. During this conversion, several free electrons are freed up, which are immediately utilised by another pathway to produce ATP molecules, the energy currency of the cell. The two paths, one for the breakdown of glucose, and one for the synthesis of ATP are tightly coupled together. Should they become uncoupled, the cell can no longer obtain energy, and it dies. It has been found that lapacho uncouples the mitochondrial oxidative process occurring in cancerous cells, but not in healthy ones. This selective killing of tumour cells is what makes lapacho such a potentially valuable agent for the treatment of cancer.

Lapachol has also been shown to inhibit the amount of another substance required for cellular reproduction; a nucleotide that is needed by cells to build DNA, RNA and most other essential proteins of the body. Lapacho may block the syntheses in cancer cells by inhibiting the enzyme. The result would be certain cellular death.

The lapachol interacts directly with the nucleic acids of the DNA helix in cancerous cells. If such interaction, or bonding, takes place then DNA replication would be impossible. The result is also the eventual death of the cancer cell.


While there can be no doubt that lapacho is very toxic to many kinds of cancer cells, viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites and other types of microorganisms, the substance appears to be without any sort of significant toxicity to healthy human cells. The side-effects mainly encountered, and usually with isolated lapacho constituents, are limited to nausea and anticoagulant effects in very high doses, a tendency to loosen the bowels, and diarrhoea in very high doses. As indicated earlier, some nausea should be expected as a natural consequence of the detoxification process.

Natural Antibiotic.

It has an anti-ageing effect. Trials show specific inhibition of free radicals by lapacho. Remember, free radicals are heavily implicated in the normal ageing process. Reversing their action has become big business in world health circles.

It boosts the immune system and reduces the chances of contracting a medical condition due to its rather potent antimicrobial effects.

It increases blood and bone marrow health. Increases red blood cell production and improves the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This, in turn, will have important implications for the health of tissues throughout the body.

It reduces the symptoms of the flu, colds, fevers, burns, respiratory distress, skin irritation, yeast infections, bone infections, dysentery and other infectious diseases. Is also useful for treating chronic conditions such as lupus, psoriasis and Parkinson’s disease.

It is useful in combating the side effects that commonly occur with different medications such as dizziness, nausea, anaemia and diarrhoea.

As a detoxifier, Lapacho acts upon the nervous system, to alleviate mild anxiety states. In its broad action, it puts the body in a defensive posture, giving it the energy, it needs to defend itself naturally.

R.C. Pilsner, D.Sc. and licensed nutrition specialist, writes, “Being a biochemist, I have researched and analysed many elements for their nutrient value and their peculiar selective actions on organs and tissues.” Pilsner has discovered that certain herbs emit an ultraviolet wave known as Gurwitsch rays. These rays stimulate cell metabolism and the body’s own ability to rejuvenate itself. He believes that herbs emitting the Gurwitsch rays include Lapacho. Pilsner has subjected Lapacho to rigorous laboratory tests and recommends daily use as a nutritional supplement.

No separate component of Lapacho comes anywhere close to being equal to the combined activity of all constituents, or, in other words, to the whole herb. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts with regards to this power-house herb.

Drug Detox Observations.

A common thread that runs throughout early and current empirical and clinical reports of lapacho treatment is the consistent observation that the herb eliminates many of the common side effects of conventional medications. There is no explanation of this action, but it is so often seen that one cannot easily doubt its validity. Pain, hair loss and immune dysfunction are among the symptoms most commonly eliminated.


Throughout the width and breadth of the earth, there exist plants with the amazing ability to cure and prevent the ills of humankind when used with wisdom. They grow and blossom and concentrate valuable healing nutrients within their tissues. People should discover these properties and utilise them in the manner intended by the governing and organising principles of nature. The search does not begin nor end in a research laboratory. It starts with the experimentation of simple people living close to the earth, who invest nothing in their search save the desire to be healthy, prevent sickness and cure disease. It ends when the rest of the world accepts knowledge so gained and incorporates it into their own health system.

Search for local supplements with Lapacho from the rain-forests.

Let’s Walk Disease-Free, Together,

Michael Plumstead