How Can Palo Azul Tea Support Liver Function?

woman holding liver

"Palo azul showed liver-protective actions"

Several articles mention that palo azul tea has been used for hundreds of years to protect and support liver function. One article in particular mentions that “palo azul is extremely good for the liver.” Another article explains that “palo azul helps detox and maintain the liver to enable it to protect the body through the process of emulsification” and “this reduces the chances of liver failure and initiates the healing process for a failing liver.”

We decided to do some research to verify the accuracy of these claims and found some promising evidence. A 2021 study on mice found that “diabetic mice treated with palo azul extracts showed significant recovery and revival of the central vein of the liver.”

Another 2021 study mentions that “palo azul is widely used in folk medicine as a diuretic and for the treatment of kidney diseases, urinary tract irritation, kidney pain, bone pain (analgesic) and as a blood purifier against liver diseases.”

 

1. Reduce oxidative damage

woman holding diseased liver

A 2022 study done on mice concluded in their results that palo azul’s “extract significantly reduced oxidative damages in both the kidneys and the liver, and such effect has been related to the high antioxidant capacity of the characterized phytochemicals.”

* "Phyto" means "plants", and phytochemicals are antioxidant compounds produced by plants to protect them from bacteria, virus and oxidative stress. These include flavonoids and polyphenols, which we will cover in more detail below.

polyphenols flavonoids family tree

The findings from the previous study are supported by a study published in 2014, whose “results suggest that palo azul prevents oxidative stress, acts as a suppressor of liver, kidney and pancreas cell damage.” This same study found that “palo azul showed anti-glycation, liver-protective and hypoglycemic (lower blood sugar levels) actions that could be potentially beneficial against type 2 diabetes."

Moreover, they mentioned the following: “We also have proven that the oral administration of palo azul tea (EP) could decrease oxidative stress associated with diabetes mellitus in the liver, pancreas and kidney.”

The researchers concluded that "palo azul possesses considerable antioxidant activity with reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging activity and demonstrated an anti-AGEs and hepatoprotective role."

 

2. Hepatoprotective

hepatoprotective liver protection

Hepatoprotection is the ability of a substance to prevent damage to the liver. This essentially means that palo azul showed the ability to protect liver function because of its antioxidant activity.

A 2015 study which supports the previous study, showed that palo azul reduced specific enzyme levels that cause liver damage in diabetic mice, "leading to a hepatoprotective effect." 

The researchers explain the following biological mechanisms for palo azul's hepatoprotective effects:

"Our data indicates that isolated extracts of the bark of Eysenhardtia polystachya (palo azul) have an ability to reduce oxidative stress under diabetic conditions, prevent and/or delay the onset renal, pancreatic, and hepatic damage through decreasing of lipid peroxidation, antioxidant properties, and increasing radical scavenging enzymes activity, also reduce intracellular reactive oxygen species, and they consequently could alleviate complications of diabetes."

 

3. Rich in flavonoids 

palo azul and fruits with flavonoids

Numerous studies have also shown that palo azul is rich in flavonoids, which are natural antioxidant compounds found in plants, fruits, vegetables, and teas. This is great news for us palo azul lovers because thousands of studies have shown that flavonoids are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and you guessed it...hepatoprotective.

A medical review which analyzed 161 studies found that "hepatoprotective activities were observed in flavonoids against rats with hepatic damage. Several clinical investigations have shown the efficacy and safety of flavonoids in the treatment of hepatobiliary dysfunction and digestive complaints, such as sensation of fullness, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain."

Another medical review which analyzed 166 studies mentioned that "many flavonoids are shown to have antioxidative activity, free radical scavenging capacity, coronary heart disease prevention, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities, while some flavonoids exhibit potential antiviral activities. In plant systems, flavonoids help in combating oxidative stress and act as growth regulators."

Conclusion

In summary, palo azul may help to protect and support liver function because it is antioxidant, hepatoprotective and it's rich in flavonoids. Because of these properties, palo azul tea could help to inhibit oxidative stress and scavenge free radicals which are associated with liver damage. 

So now you know…after a hard weekend of drinking, show your liver some love with palo azul tea! 😉

 

magiktea palo azul logo

Get some hepatoprotection,
your liver will thank you!
 

Clinical Studies

* Palo azul is commonly referred to by its scientific name: Eysenhardtia polystachya / E. polystachya / E.P - Cyclolepis genistoides / C. genistoides - kidney wood - palo dulce

 

(October 2021) Minocycline-Derived Silver Nanoparticles for Assessment of Their Antidiabetic Potential against Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Mice

(April 2021) Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of South America: Cyclolepis Genistoides

(March 2022) Nephroprotective Plants: A Review on the Use in Pre-Renal and Post-Renal Diseases

(2014) Evaluation of antidiabetic, antioxidant and antiglycating activities of the Eysenhardtia polystachya

Kidneywood Herbal Facts

(2021) Benefits and Side Effects of Palo Azul

(2022) Palo Azul Tea and Side Effects

What is Palo Azul Tea? Toolslick