Palo Azul: 27 Benefits, FAQ, and More (2019 Update)

the benefits of palo azul

Palo Azul (scientific name Eysenharditia Polystachya) is a bark that is grown in Mexico and the Southern United States. For hundreds of years, it has been used by domestic people as a herbal remedy (Salinas‐Hernández, 2008). It is prepared by boiling or soaking the bark of the Palo Azul tree. This creates a tea (Palo Azul tea) that is suitable for drinking.

In the last twenty years, modern medicine has started to understand the science behind the therapeutic benefits. Plants are more powerful than you may think. Scientific evidence suggests , that natural products and their derivatives make up more than 50% of all the drugs in clinical use in the world. Higher plants contribute no less than 25% of the total.” (Si-Yuan, 2013)

We have broken this article down into sections. You can click on a link below to jump to that section.

Table of Contents (click to jump):

Full disclosure: we sell and profit from the sale of Palo Azul. We have made all attempts to be factually accurate in this article. All info has a reference and link to a published study, book, or journal article.

 kidney model in hand

Kidney Health

Palo Azul is sometimes called Kidneywood or blue stick because of it’s benefits to kidney health. We wrote an entire post that goes into more detail about Palo Azul and Your Kidneys [Medical Findings and Research].

1. Decrease Kidney Stone Size

You can find clear statement that  Palo Azul (Kidneywood) is helpful for those with kidney stones and urinary tract sediment in Charles Kane’s book Herbal Medicine of the American Southwest (Page 119). Because of its alkalinizing nature, it can dissolve acidic precipitants, and thereby reduce pain and urinary tract irritation.

In 2012, the Modern College Of Pharmacy published an article in the Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, stressing the fact, that Eysenhardtia polystachya significantly decreased the size of urinary stones in experimentally induced  urolithiasis model.

2. Prevent Formation of Kidney Stones

It is thought that diuretics (like Palo Azul) are able to decrease urinary calcium (Harvard Health). Calcium oxalate is the most common type of human kidney stones. Diuretics also help to flush out potassium.

3. Improves Insulin Resilience

It is believed that one of the possible mechanisms of kidney disease is the defective insulin signaling. Palo Azul may improve insulin resistance. A 2016 study from Japan found that Palo Azul has numerous physiological effects, that contribute to the prevention of metabolic syndrome. This included improvement of  insulin resistance by facilitating the differentiation of myoblasts.

4. Nephritis (Kidney Inflammation)

Nephritis is acute or chronic inflammation of kidneys. The plant was used in traditional medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent and this study proved this fact.

5. Decrease Glucose Levels

In a study, it was found, that administration of Palo Azul significantly decreased glucose levels in an animal model of diabetes. Extra glucose can damage your blood vessels’ intima, causing macro and microangiopathies. Thus, extra glucose can cause kidney damage.

6. Reduces the Probability of Getting Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Individuals with kidney stones are more prone to getting UTIs. For that reason, we added this benefit under the kidney health section.  

In 2009 the British Journal of Biomedical Science highlighted the success of Palo Azul’s antibacterial properties against the bacteria, commonly causing UTIs.

 

palo azul bark

Drug Testing

Pass Drug Tests

Many internet forums and users claim that you can use it to  pass a drug test. We have investigated this claim. Though there are no studies on this, we do have done some research to understand why so many customers report success.

 

Palo Azul is a natural diuretic. Thus, it can clean your body from drug metabolites.

This would explain why in 1988 the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) listed diuretics as a prohibited substance. Maybe,this action was made to prevent athletes from using them to pass drug tests. Fun fact for professional athletes: they are still on the list today!

Learn more about Palo Azul and Drug Tests in this Full Article 

 

women holding hand in pain

Joint Health

8. Help Arthritis

A recently performed study showed that Palo Azul could delay the progression of Rheumatoid Arthritis. They showed, that the flavonoids, contained in Palo Azul inhibited inflammatory pathways, lessened the distinct histopathological alterations in the joint capsule and reduced the serum concentrations of the pro-inflammatory cytokines.T (Khanna D, 2007).

9. Anti-inflammatory Effect

Various anti-inflammatory drugs have side effects. That is why natural anti-inflammatory agents are under the focus of researchers. Anti-inflammatory activities of this substance have already tested by this study. (Angel Josabad, 2018). A second study  tested Its activity when administered topically. The study suggested that Palo Azul ingredients can be proposed as topical anti-inflammatory agents. A third study gives support to previously mentioned data.

10. General Pain Reduction

It was found that Palo Azul can help in reducing pain (Angel Josabad, 2018). D-pinitol was the main component (metabolite),responsible for this effect.. It was found that the potency of D-pinitol was similar to that of standard drugs.

 

block letters spelling diabeties

Anti-Diabetic

Diabetes is a group of diseases that  involve problems with the body hormone insulin. Normally, your pancreas produces insulin to help the organism store and use glucose. But, sometimes, due to several reasons, this mechanism interrupts, leading to elevation of blood glucose levels. Use of herbal therapies is common among diabetic patients. However, this study notes, that herbal remedies for diabetes do not have significant effect on the outcome.

11. Alleviate Complications of Diabetes

Six new flavonoids were discovered in 2016 by Rosa Martha Perez-Gutierrez in Palo Azul (Eysenhardtia polystachya). It was found that these flavonoids decreased oxidative stress in an animal model of streptozotocin- (STZ-) induced diabetes . It is well known that oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetes (Ferdinando Giacco, 2011).

12. Reduce Blood Glucose

A 2014 study showed that Palo Azul  possesses considerable antihyperglycemic activity. (Gutierrez RM, 2014).

13. Improve Insulin Resistance

Palo Azul was shown to potentially improve insulin resistance by promoting adipocyte differentiation and increasing expression of insulin-sensitizing adipokine and adiponectin (Sato H, 2013). In addition, results have suggested, that Palo Azul decreased insulin-resistant factors such as leptin and resistin, serving it’s potential to improve insulin resistance.

A second mechanism for insulin resistance was observed by Sato H in 2016. In this second study, it was shown that the formation of myotubes, facilitated by Palo Azul, may improve insulin-resistant conditions in the body.

14. Prevent the Development of Diabetes

It was found that Palo Azul promoted pancreatic beta-cell survival (Abraham Heriberto Garcia Campoy, 2018). Beta cells’ function and mass is altered in patients with both types I and II diabetes.

 palo azul tea with blue tint

Other Benefits

We have done extensive research to find other benefits of Palo Azul, which are listed below.

15. Anti Bacterial

A study found in 1999 that there were antibacterial benefits of Palo Azul. Since then there has been minimal published research. You can read the full abstract here.

16. Anti Fungal Activity

A study has found antifungal activity of  Palo Azul,grown in the region of Texas. This 1999 study was the first to identify the flavanone, responsible for antifungal effect.

17. Antioxidant Activity

Antioxidants are agents  that inhibit oxidation, the chemical reaction, which produces free radicals. These compounds, due to chain reactions, can damage the vital structures of the cells. It has been shown, that Eysenhardtia polystachya has natural antioxidant properties. Another study of Eysenhardtia polystachya (Palo Azul) showed that it can act as a free radical scavenger. Other studies found similar results.

18. Fights Free Radicals:

Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells (Medical News Today). Antioxidants lessen and prevent free radicals in lab studies. A study of Eysenhardtia polystachya (Palo Azul) showed that there was free radical scavenging activity.

19. Cancer prevention (more research needed):

Historically, native peoples used Palo Azul for cancer prevention and treatment. Alvarez et al. showed the cytotoxic potential of  Palo Azul, which significantly decreased tumor grow activity.  However, more research should be done to ensure the safety of active compounds for human normal cells.

20. Anti-Diarrhea

A 2018 study tested benefits of D-pinitol, the main metabolite found in Palo Azul. In their published article Angel Josabad and Alonso-Castro stated that D-pinitol, among with other benefits, has  an antidiarrheal effect. They state that it has “antidiarrheal effects with similar potency compared to standard drugs”.

21. Reduces Edema

Edema is an abnormal accumulation of fluid under the skin. A study published in the African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology found that, due to attenuation of inflammatory cytokines, ingredients of Palo Azul led to ultimate suppression of edema.

22. Reduce triglycerides

According to Mayo Clinic “Having a high level of triglycerides in your blood can increase your risk of heart disease.” Research found that Palo Azul reduced the level of triglycerides in blood serum of diabetic mice.

23. Rescues Cholesterol

Marked reduction of cholesterol levels was shown after administration of Palo Azul ingredients.(Gutierrez RM, 2014). Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is found in all the cells   of our organism.

24. Natural Diuretic

There are multiple studies (Saudy Saret Pablo-Pérez, 2016) (R. M. Perez G, 1998) that show Palo Azul is a Diuretic. We know this is the property that people claim allows Palo Azul to let you detox for a drug test.

25. Inhibits Xanthine-Oxidase

The extract of Palo Azul has been proven to inhibit xanthine- oxidase. Xanthin-oxidase is a type of enzyme, that promotes free radical oxidation.

26. Skin Care (Antiglycating)

You’ve probably never heard of something having antiglycating activity before. Glycation is when a sugar molecule binds to protein or lipid molecule without any controlling enzyme.  This process causes t aging of the skin. Since the 80s pharmaceutical companies have been searching for a potent antiglycation agent. Interestingly, study has found, that Palo Azul ( scientific name is Eysenhardtia polystachya)  exerts antiglycating properties.

27. Obesity

Obesity is a major issue in the United States and across the globe. One published paper suggests, that Palo Azul can help control obesity.

Please, note that we still do not recommend you to use it as a short term weight loss solution.

A 2013 study by Hiromi Sato, tries to uncover how the herb prevents metabolic syndromes (blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the wais). They found that “Results suggest an increase in adiponectin secretion and a decrease in insulin-resistant factors such as leptin and resistin.” You can read the full abstract here.

palo azul tea on yellow table 

FAQ 

Where can I buy Palo Azul tea?

Palo Azul can be purchased online. It is sold in re-sealable packages that keep for months in a cool dry place.

What is Palo Azul?

Palo Azul is the wood from the Eysenharditia Polystachya plant. You soak or boil the wood in water to create a tea that you can drink.

What is Palo Azul used for?

Palo Azul can be used to detox, improve kidney health, decrease joint pain, and pass drug tests.

What stores sell Palo Azul?

Very few physical stores sell this product outside of Mexico. Walmart used to sell a variant but it has been out of stock for years. We sell the product online and ships to the USA and internationally.

How to drink palo Azul?

You can drink the tea either hot or cold. If you prefer you can also add a sweetener.

How does Palo Azul taste?

It has a unique taste. There is no tea quite like Palo Azul. It has a smooth feel and earthy taste. It can be sweetened to your preference with lemon, honey, or sugar cubes.

Where does Palo Azul come from?

Palo Azul is a herb. The Palo Azul shrub/small tree is grown in Mexico and Texas. We source our bark from Mexico.

Are there side effects from Palo Azul?

A published study showed that Palo Azul is not orally toxic. There have been no reported side effects. The bark has been drunk for hundreds of years. Using Palo Azul during pregnancy and lactation has not been studied. For this reason, it is not recommended to take while you are pregnant or lactating.

 

Further Reading:

We’re excited by the research that has already been done and excited at what future studies may show. Plants often have many unknown uses. If you want to learn more about the role plants play in health we recommend this TedTalk by Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. If you are looking to buy Palo Azul you can purchase a bag in our store. If you are a researcher working on a study we would love to collaborate with you and supply our tea for your study. If you have medical questions you should consult your doctor. If you have questions about our products you can contact us here.

Disclaimer: Azul Tea™ makes no representation or warranty regarding the accuracy, reliability, completeness, currentness, or timeliness of any information provided. This article is provided for information, entertainment and convenience only – it does not constitute endorsements of any situations or medical tactics or advice. All information contained herein should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician. The information provided here is for educational and informational purposes only. In no way should it be considered as offering medical advice. Please check with a doctor and/or licensed medical physician. NO LIABILITY WILL BE ASSUMED FOR THE USE OF THIS ARTICLE AND/OR ADDITIONAL POSTINGS HEREIN. Conflict of interest: The authors of this article and of the site make a profit when Palo Azul is purchased through this website. This article was updated Feb 22, 2019, with more recent research and info.