Fans of the Palo Azul detox method claim that the method has helped them pass their drug test. Is there any truth to those claims, and if there is, how does the Palo Azul detox work?
In this guide, we’ll go over how the Palo Azul detox is used and find out if it’s effective.
What Is Palo Azul?
On first hearing about the Palo Azul detox, you would be forgiven for thinking it’s a detox method discovered by a Spanish celebrity. In fact, Palo Azul is a small tree native to Mexico and the American Southwest.
You may come across some of its other names which include: Palo cuate, Palo dulce, and Palo dulce Blanco. If you do, they’re all referring to the same tree.
In the English-speaking world, it’s also known as Kidneywood, and that name might give you a clue about how Palo Azul is supposed to help you pass a drug test.
In a drug detox context, Palo Azul is the herbal decoction made from the wood of the Palo Azul tree. It’s most commonly sold in the form of wood chips.
The literal translation of Palo Azul into English is a blue stick. Palo Azul gets its name because when it’s brewed into a drink, the liquid has a vivid blue hue.
Where Can You Buy Palo Azul?
You can easily find Palo Azul retailers online. Major platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy have multiple vendors offering Palo Azul for sale, and a quick search online will give you a long list of other options.
You can sometimes find the LaIndia brand for sale at Walmart, H-E-B grocery stores, and at Mexican grocers. Some head shops also carry Palo Azul.
How Do You Prepare Palo Azul?
To use Palo Azul, you’ll need to make a decoction. A decoction is simply the method of extracting beneficial properties from the roots, bark, or wood of a plant or tree.
You’ll need one and a half gallons of water, two or three ounces of Palo Azul, a large pan with a lid, and a stove.
- Add the water to your cooking pot and bring it to a boil.
- Add the Palo Azul chips, cover the pot, and boil for 90 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, then remove the wood chips which should be floating on top.
- You can drink Palo Azul hot or cold.
- Store the decoction in the refrigerator.
How To Use Palo Azul As A Drug Detox
Proponents of the Palo Azul detox suggest drinking the entire amount in the 24 hours prior to a drug test.
Given that you’ll be sleeping for 8 of those hours, that means consuming one and a half gallons of Palo Azul over the course of 16 hours.
Of course, Palo Azul must be used in conjunction with abstinence. You can’t continue to use drugs and expect any detox substance to work. The more time that passes between your last drug use and your drug test the better. This is especially so if the drug you use is marijuana which can take up to 90 days to clear from your system if you’re a heavy user.
Does The Palo Azul Detox Really Work?
So now you know what Palo Azul is, and you know how to prepare the herbal brew. But does this detox method even work?
So many claims are made for drug detox methods, from the bizarre to the outright dangerous, and when you’re desperate for a solution that will help you pass a drug test, it’s easy to put your faith in the first plausible sounding option you come across.
There’s not a whole lot of solid information about Palo Azul available, and there’s no scientific proof that Palo Azul can remove toxins from your body and help you pass a drug test.
Some people say that Palo Azul can grab on to toxins (drug metabolites) and pull them from your body. But that’s total fiction.
However, Palo Azul is a diuretic, and diuretics may help you pass a drug test. Diuretics are banned in sports competitions for this reason.
So let’s dig in a little deeper.
How Can Diuretics Help You Pass A Drug Test?
A diuretic is a substance that removes excess water from your body by increasing the amount of urine you produce.
The more urine you produce, the less concentrated the drug metabolites present in your urine will be.
If the drug metabolites are below the cut-off threshold for the substance tested, you pass the drug test.
Imagine dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a liter of water. When that salt water is tested it will have a specific salt concentration.
Now imagine dissolving a teaspoon of salt in 10 liters of water. When that salt water is tested the salt concentration will be 10 times lower than in the 1-liter solution.
Your body metabolizes drugs at a certain rate and some of those metabolites are excreted in your urine.
If you produce a larger volume of urine, you’ll pee more often and those metabolites will be present at a lower concentration.
The Effect Of Diuretics On Urine Volume
A normal, healthy adult drinking 2 liters of water daily, produces between 800ml and 2000ml of urine each day. When pharmaceutical diuretics are introduced, that volume can be as much as 3000ml to 5000ml.
Palo Azul is a natural diuretic rather than a pharmaceutical diuretic, however, we do have a study that confirms its diuretic properties.
The scientific name for Palo Azul is Eysenhardtia polystachya. In the Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology we find the following study:
Diuretic activity of the bark of Eysenhardtia polystachya http://www.bdpsjournal.org/index.php/bjp/article/view/530
For the study, researchers used the mouse model to compare an aqueous extract of Eysenhardtia polystachya with the common pharmaceutical diuretic furosemide. They found that at doses of 500mg and 750mg per kilogram of body weight the Eysenhardtia polystachya induced diuretic effects at a rate similar to that achieved with furosemide.
When you make your Palo Azul decoction, you’re making a type of aqueous extract, although not a laboratory grade one, and there’s no way to measure the per kg dose you’ll obtain.
It’s also interesting to note that the researchers only boiled their Palo Azul for 5 minutes yet still obtained the diuretic effect.
From the study results, you can see that Palo Azul is a diuretic and therefore has the ability to increase the amount of urine you produce.
Of course, the most common way you can increase your urine production is by drinking large amounts of water. And if you scroll back up to the “how to use Palo Azul” section, you’ll notice that the detox involves drinking one and a half gallons of Palo Azul. One and a half gallons is 5.6 liters.
According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, a healthy adult male needs 3.7 liters of water a day, while an adult female needs 2.7 liters.
This includes fluids obtained from foods which account for about 20% of that volume. Remove that food-derived fluid, and you’re left with males needing to drink around 3 liters of water per day, and females needing just over 2 liters.
Compare that with the amount of fluid you’ll consume with the Palo Azul detox method, and you’ll see that you’ll be drinking almost twice the normal daily intake if you’re a male and almost 3 times as much if you’re a female.
So you would easily increase your urine output just by drinking the extra fluid, whether it was plain water or Palo Azul.
This is a common feature of many drug detox methods. No matter the detox substance, you’ll be told to drink a huge amount of water. All of that extra water will result in increased urine output and therefore a lower concentration of drug metabolites in your urine.
With this realization, you have to ask yourself if the detox product detoxes anything at all, or if it’s just some slick marketing.
All we can say regarding Palo Azul is that it is indeed a diuretic.
But let’s look at another piece of research before we make up our minds.
In vivo adulteration: excess fluid ingestion causes false-negative marijuana and cocaine urine test results.
This research focused on two herbal detox preparations and a pharmaceutical diuretic.
The two herbal detox’s tested were Naturally Klean Herbal tea and Golden Seal root.
The pharmaceutical diuretic tested was hydrochlorothiazide, and regular water was used as a control.
The herbal products were prepared using 1 gallon of water and the diuretic was consumed along with 1 gallon of water. Fluids were consumed at the rate of 1 quart every hour for 4 hours.
These detox treatments began 22 hours after subjects had smoked marijuana or been given a dose of cocaine hydrochloride.
After the consumption of 2 quarts of fluid, whether herbal detox, diuretic with plain water, or plain water alone, immunoassay testing for marijuana and cocaine metabolites produced false negatives.
A false negative means that the levels of the drug being tested for are below the cut-off levels needed to pass the test, but the urine sample still fails the test because it has been adulterated.
Drug testing labs carry out a range of tests to detect sample adulteration and when it comes to checking for sample dilution, labs measure the creatinine level of urine, its pH, and its specific gravity.
If these values are outside normal levels, they know that cheating has occurred. Either excessive fluids have been consumed to create diluted urine or the urine has been mixed with water in the sample cup.
If your drug test returns a false negative, you will not pass the test.
From the study results, it’s clear that drinking an additional 2 quarts of water alone without the addition of any other substance was sufficient to dilute the urine of the test subjects enough to result in a false-negative result.
The study authors concluded that the claims regarding the drug detox ability of the herbal products tested were unfounded.
The Palo Azul detox method is yet another detox method that relies on urine dilution. While Palo Azul is a diuretic with the ability to increase your urine production and therefore reduce the concentration of drug metabolites present in your urine, the method also requires the consumption of a large volume of water.
Consuming that volume of water by itself would produce enough of a urine-diluting effect to lower some drug metabolites below the testing cut-off level.
However, with or without Palo Azul, diluted urine will not pass the adulteration checks in the lab and your sample will result in a false negative unless you can take steps to normalize the pH, specific gravity, and creatinine levels in your sample.
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