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One way to increase the levels of NAD+ in your body is to drink some Pau D’Arco tea. Or, for an even greater impact, to prepare it as a “milk” by combining it with some oil and organic turmeric powder.

This is because the key active ingredient in Pau D’Arco is Beta-Lapachone.  Beta-Lapachone increases NAD+ in the body, but by a different mechanism than NR or NMN: it facilitates the conversion of NADH into NAD+. This article describes in detail how this process works.

Since Beta Laphachon increases NAD+ by conversion, it’s not a substitute for NAD boosters such as NR or NMN (which work by increasing the raw materials the body uses to make NAD), or fasting, HIIT exercise, or hot/cold contrast showers. (You have to have some NADH in your body, to convert it to NAD+). Rather, it should work well in conjunction with those supplements and interventions.

Dr. Joseph Mercola spoke in a recent interview about a Pau D’Arco “milk” designed to increase our NAD+ levels.  He recommends soaking some Pau D’Arco powder in a glass of warm water for 12 hours or more, then blending with some kind of fat or oil for two minutes –– he suggests coconut oil, krill oil or MCT oil –– then straining it and drinking up (or putting it in a smoothie).

I tried making it using the method he recommended:

  • I soaked the contents of two capsules of organic Mercola Pau D’Arco in a cup of water overnight (to give time for all of the Beta Lapachone to soak into the water).
  • I use Mercola’s product because it’s made solely from the inner bark of pink Lapacho trees, not the dead outer bark which some teas and supplements are made from, and because the Mercola line of supplements has a reputation for good quality control. I have no question that’s what’s in Mercola supplements is what’s listed on the label.
  • After soaking it overnight, I blended the tea with two tablespoons of coconut oil for two minutes as recommended. 
  • And… let’s just say it didn’t blend smoothly, probably because after sitting out overnight, the Pau D’Arco/water mixture was not warm, but room temperature. Tepid water does not blend well with a semi-solid such as coconut oil. It created a thick gloppy coating of coconut oil on the inside of the blender. There was no way to “strain” it; it would have just made an even gloppier mess in the strainer.
  • I stared at what I’d created for a minute, then drank the liquid and scraped the weird brown coconut oil sludge off of the sides of the blender, and ate it by the spoonful. (Anything for longevity!) It wasn’t bad, just kind of weird.
  • After drinking it, I took four capsules of NMN and some resveratrol, and waited to see if I would feel anything as a result.
  • I did feel a boost in energy start building about 15 minutes later, but I’ve no idea if it’s because of my NADH being converted into NAD+, or because Pau D’Arco can have a naturally stimulating effect. My body felt “abuzz” after drinking it. I had an unusual awareness of the sensations on the surface of my skin, and I felt unusually alert.
  • Based on my experience, I would recommend trying this drink (unless there’s some reason you need to avoid Beta Lapachone). But unless you like eating gloppy brown muck from the sides of a blender by the spoonful, I would not recommend using coconut oil, but using a liquid such as MCT oil. Done that way, I’m sure it would be more palatable and easier to drink. But forget the straining and just drink up. 
  • P.S. Mercola also recommends blending it with some organic turmeric powder to increase absorption, but I didn’t have any in the house.
  • P.P.S. There are other benefits of taking Pau D’Arco. One is that it has anti-carcinogenic properties, and selectively kills some types of cancer cells. It has also been found to have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • P.P.P.S. Pau D’Arco’s a powerful herb, with many reported benefits. But there have also been some reports of toxicity.