Use throughout History "Pau d'arco has a long and well-documented history of use by the indigenous peoples of the rainforest. Indications imply that its use may actually predate the Incas. Throughout South America, tribes living thousands of miles apart have employed it for the same medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. They use the bark to treat many different conditions and as a tonic for the same strength and vigor it puts into their bows. Pau d'arco is recorded to be used by forest inhabitants throughout the Amazon for malaria, anemia, colitis, respiratory problems, colds, cough, flu, fungal infections, fever, arthritis and rheumatism, snakebite, poor circulation, boils, syphilis, and cancer."
In South American herbal medicine, it is considered to be astringent, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and a laxative. It is used to treat ulcers, syphilis, urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal problems, candida and yeast infections, cancer, diabetes, prostatitis, constipation, and allergies. In North American herbal medicine, pau d'arco is considered to be analgesic, antioxidant, anti-parasitic, antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and a laxative, as well as having anti-cancerous properties. It is used for fevers, infections, colds, flu, syphilis, urinary tract infections, cancer, respiratory problems, skin ulcerations, boils, dysentery, gastrointestinal problems of all kinds, arthritis, prostatitis, and circulation disturbances.