Tabebuia avellanedae Lorentz ex Griseb.

  • Rainer W. BussmannEmail author
Part of the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the World book series (MAPW, volume 5)


Tabebuia avellanedae Lorentz ex Grieseb. (Lapacho, Pau’d’Arco), has long been reported as used in traditional medicine in Central and Latin America for disorders as varied as leishmaniasis, bacterial infections, fever, malaria and syphilis. In the early 1960 reports of cancer being cured with Lapacho extract appeared in Brazil. The taxonomy of the genus Tabebuia is however complicated, and various species are used interchangeably in traditional medicine. At least Tabebuia serratifolia (Vahl) Nichols has to be seen as bioequivalent to T. avellanedae. Lapacho bark is the crude drug, in most cases prepared as infusion or tea. Lapachol and ß-Lapachol are recognized as the main bioactive compounds, and a large number of studies have focused on the anti-tumor, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory activity. However, so far little conclusive evidence for efficacy could be provided. The main problem of many studies had been the lack of exact taxonomic identification of the source material, the use of the wrong plant parts, and a focus of very few compounds, rather than traditional preparations. Much more research is needed to assess the actual efficacy of Tabebuia preparations.


Lapacho Pau’d’Arco Tabebuia avellanedae Tabebuia serratifolia Bignoniaceae 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ilia State University, Institute of Botany and Bakuriani Alpine Botanical Garden, Department of EthnobotanyTbilisiGeorgia

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