What is Palo Azul Good for?
Are you missing out on the magical palo azul tea?
Palo azul tea has been used as a traditional remedy since the 16th century in South America and it was transported to Europe for its incredible fluorescence. Since that time, palo azul has been popularized because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties for promoting kidney, liver, and urinary tract function. Palo azul is also widely known for its alkalinizing effect on the body, which may have beneficial effects on digestion and dental health.
Thanks to the work of the researchers who have published their findings about palo azul's properties, we now have evidence of palo azul's effectiveness for its traditional uses. Below this summary, we delve deeper into the specific findings from some of the studies.
- Inhibits primary and secondary inflammatory reactions
- Detoxify free radicals and inhibit oxidative stress
- Flush out toxins while retaining electrolytes
- Essential electrolytes for hydration
- "Alkalinizing nature" in the body
- Rich in polyphenols
- Great for when you need a break from caffeine
Palo Azul Benefits
Numerous studies have shown that palo azul tea exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity due to its flavonoid rich content. For example, this 2018 study concluded that "EE (palo azul) and its rich-flavonoids fractions inhibited secondary inflammatory reactions" and "also decreased the serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines."
A 2011 study also concluded that palo azul's "fractions rich in flavonoids induce an anti-inflammatory effect in chronic inflammation." This 2016 study found that palo azul "exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity." Lastly, a 2015 concluded the following: "Our data indicate that palo azul exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity."
Many studies have also shown that palo azul tea is a powerful antioxidant due to its polyphenolic rich content. Therefore, the studies have shown that palo azul tea inhibited oxidative stress, free radicals and inhibited the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and reactive oxygen species (ROS).
For example, due to its polyphenolic rich content, a 2021 study found that palo azul tea "can reduce the oxidative stress caused by the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) because of its free radical scavenging activity."
The authors also mention that "the polyphenolic compounds present in Eysenhardtia polystachya may protect the insulin-secreting cells from oxidative stress."
This 2014 study which supports the previous studies, found that "Eysenhardtia polystachya (palo azul) possesses considerable antioxidant activity with reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging activity and demonstrated an anti-AGEs and inhibits oxidative stress."
Lastly, this 2016 study concluded the following: "Our data indicates that the bark of Eysenhardtia polystachya has an ability to reduce oxidative stress through decreasing of lipid peroxidation, antioxidant properties, and increasing radical scavenging enzymes activity, also reduce intracellular reactive oxygen species."
Diuretics are substances that promote diuresis, which means they increase water excretion (makes you urinate more). Interestingly, a 2016 study showed that palo azul tea is a "potassium-sparring diuretic", meaning that it prevented electrolyte loss during urination because it spared potassium...as opposed to regular diuretics like coffee and green tea.
Due to the popularity of palo azul as a diuretic, several studies have evaluated its efficacy and found it to be effective at promoting kidney and urinary tract function.
For example, a 2022 study mentions that "this plant contains polyphenols, flavonoids and alkaloids." This same study suggests that palo azul's "beneficial effects might be associated with diuretic activities, as well as an inhibitory effect on crystallization, nucleation, and aggregation of crystals."
Studies have found beneficial properties of alkaline drinks including: Better hydration, more essential minerals, improved acid reflux and they're non-erosive to teeth.
A 2013 study analyzed the nutrients in the palo azul bark and found that it has minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium. All of these minerals are electrolytes which make palo azul tea alkaline.
This 2007 study did an extensive 77 page analysis on palo azul and also showed that it has a potassium. Therefore, the researchers found that palo azul "decreases the acidity of urine."
A 2006 book about botanical medicine also mentions that palo azul tea has an "alkalinizing nature" which allows it to dissolve acidic precipitants.
Many studies have shown that palo azul tea is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids. A 2021 study mentions that several types of phytonutrients have been identified in palo azul including "flavonoids, polyphenols, phenolic compounds, flavones, flavanones, isoflavones, chalcones and dihydrochalcones."
WebMD describes polyphenols (phytonutrients), as "micronutrients that naturally occur in plants." These phytochemicals are produced by plants to fight off oxidative stress, inflammation, fungi, bacteria and other diseases.
According to a 2016 review, flavonoids are "a group of natural substances with polyphenolic structures and they're found in fruits, vegetables, grains, bark, roots, stems, flowers, tea and wine. These natural products are well known for their beneficial effects on health."
One of the things we love about palo azul is that it's caffeine-free, so we get to enjoy this beautiful tea throughout the entire day! Caffeine is an alkaloid that blocks adenosine receptors in the brain, which would normally make you feel sleepy.
Mathew Walker, the author of "Why We Sleep" explains that "by hijacking and occupying these receptors, caffeine blocks the sleepiness signal normally communicated to the brain by adenosine" and "caffeine tricks you into feeling alert and awake, despite the high levels of adenosine that would otherwise seduce you into sleep."
Walker also mentions that "caffeine has an average half-life of 5-7 hours." This means that if you have a cup of coffee at 3 pm, by 9 pm you would still have "50% of that caffeine circulating throughout your brain tissue."
Caffeine can be helpful, but the key is to have balance and moderation. Just listen to your body and see how you feel. When you feel like it's time for a caffeine break...Palo azul tea will be there for you. 😁
We hope you enjoyed learning about palo azul's benefits and we hope that you share it with your loved ones so that they can also enjoy palo azul's magical properties!
Palo azul's scientific and common names: Eysenhardtia polystachya, Cyclolepis genistoides, Lignum nephriticum, kidney wood, kidney tea, palo dulce