Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bitter Herbs: Pau d’Arco (Taheebo)




Our gardener Richard has planted a taheebo plant about two years ago. He says I could make it as a tea but I never did because it was only tiny plant in a pot. Besides, why would I want to cut off the beautiful white-spiked flower?

I’ve read a few health benefits of pau d’arco from some of my books these past few years. All I know is that they’re available as a tea and as a capsule in health food stores but never thought of buying them as they are out of the budget.



About last two months ago, I found out that the taheebo and pau d’arco are the same and they are actually abundant in our garden. I live here and not even know that they are flourishing back there. There are dozens of different species of pau d’arco and this less popular taheebo (Orthosiphon aristatus or balbas pusa) is what we have in the Philippines. I believe it is one of the native plants of this country. Even if it is not used as a wonder drug compared to other varieties, it shares its many wonder of herbal cure.

Although taheebo is known for its anti-fungal and antibiotic properties including as an immune-booster herb, this type of taheebo is an effective diuretic and cure for kidney and urinary problems. The leaves are supposed to contain a lot of potassium salts.



But let me go further. If you search for the synonyms of damp, you will find that it also means moist, humid and wet. In Chinese medicine, Dampness creates signs of stagnation and sluggishness which makes someone easily tired and heavy. Dampness is also related to edema and water accumulation in all or parts of the body; excess mucus, tumors, cysts, parasites, yeasts and excess body weight. Bitter herbs are good in removing Dampness from the body and that’s what tabeebo does, it drains excess fluid (hence, the word diuretic).



Taheebo leaves are boiled and drank as a tea. It is the only preparation you could do unless you buy them as capsules. They do have a long bitter aftertaste but not as cruelly bitter compared to chaparral or bitter gourd leaf tea.
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I don’t drink them on a daily basis because, honestly, I don’t enjoy drinking bitter herbs. I sometimes add honey to sweeten it but the lingering bitter taste is strong. But since they are plentiful, I might as well take the advantage of having access to it.

Cheers to pau d'arco/taheebo.

18 comments:

  1. Your blog is very nice. The images are very beautiful. God is Great. Best wishes.
    http://www.thedynamicnature.com

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  2. Hi there, your herbal posting sounds very familiar but can not remember which one is it! Lately, about this H1N1 thing...we need to take more of these kind of herbal tea. They do help in detoxification!

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  3. I think I would have to drink bitter herbs with honey, too. There's a lot to be said about eating and drinking well, isn't there?

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  4. I would take the bitter herbs with your pastries, Julia. I'll take the tea first before eating the pastry. :)

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  5. Hi Divina, your blog is really beautiful! I just found your nut milk post through foodbuzz.
    A few years ago when I was having some health problems, I used to drink taheebo tea every evening. I bought it dried, but had never seen the plant growing before. The little leaves are very pretty.

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  6. Hello! Nice blog. I'm just a bit confused since the taheebo i know looks like this
    http://www.meadowherbs.com/paudarco.htm
    Is this a taheebo variant?

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  7. @ Anonymous - I believe it's a different variety of taheebo. So, the answer is yes, it's a taheebo variant. Ours is only a plant. That one is a tree which is mostly grown in Brazil where the inner-lining bark is used. They also have different properties because the tree variety is good for immune boosting. The different varieties of taheebo, also called lapacho tree may come in a different Latin name too. I hope this helps and thank you.

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  8. Thanks for the prompt reply :) Would you know if there's a site showing pics of the different taheebo variants? I just want to know what to look for when I go out to buy one. Thanks again.

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  9. @ Anonymous - There's not much photos on the different variant of taheebo. It's either you're buy the bark or the leaf tea but they are already dried. You can also buy them in capsules. Maybe this website helps. They also list the other names of taheebo.

    http://www.paudarco.com/
    http://www.dragonwater.com/product_detail.tf/120_lapacho_pau_darco_tea.html

    As far as I know, they're usually sold as bark tea (like shavings of bark) or you could buy them in tea bags, unless you have a plant like ours.

    Hop this is helpful. Glad to help.

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  10. hi thanks for the info. i like your site..very attractive with lots of pics... just want to ask bout the taheebo plant. is it a slimming herb also? somebody told me about that and i just want to cnfirm. thanks ! God Bless!

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  11. @ Annielyn - thank you very much. Taheebo can help you slim down if you have excess "Dampness" or fluids in you cells as what I've noted above but it cannot work alone by itself. It also depends on how potent that kind of taheebo you're taking. But my answer is yes, but only if paired with healthy lifestyle. Hope that that helps. :)

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  12. hi! thanks for your site. we have also taheebo plants planted by one of our workers but i dont have something to prove that it is really a taheebo plant. now that i have confirmed from your site, i'm brewing my first tea from its leaves and im going to do it everyday. thanks again... liam

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  13. i do have the taheebo plant and having known what it is, i've been trying to multiply it. Plant them thru cuttings, it easily grows soon after. I've been trying to gather seeds, but they easily fall to the ground before i get them. So just wait for them to grow as a small plant and replant them in pots for easy give-aways.

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  14. I use taheebo inner bark tea every day, but would love to have some leaves to try for tea as well. Living in the northeastern tip of north dakota less than a stone's throw from Canada, taheebo trees are hard to come by. Do you by any chance know where I could buy some? Thanks.

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  15. Hello Cindy, I'm not so sure if I could help you. The only thing I know where to get these tea is through the internet but I don't think you could buy them fresh. My apologies if I couldn't be of help and also for the late reply. Cheers

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  16. Hi, divina! may i know how i can plant taheebo in the philippines?

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  17. You can have the liniment instead - This is heavily produced and promoted in the Philippines. The extracts are from Taheebo bitter herbs. It has been said to improve a lot of things, especially for the oldies - My name links to the article about the liniment. Hope it helps.

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