Chaparral - Larrea Tridentata or Mexicana

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This Chaparral (Larrea tridentata or Mexicana) monograph is an excerpt from the 1999, first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA.

Chaparral - Larrea tridentata or mexicana in the Zygophyllaceae family

Parts used: Resinous new leaves.

Taste/smell: Bitter, resinous, acrid.

Tendencies: Drying, cooling.

Dosage: Infusion: 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of water, infused 25 minutes; or 1:1.4 fresh + dry liquid extract: 10-60 drops 1-4 times per day.

Use: (a) Antibacterial, (b) Antifungal, (c) Anti-inflammatory, (d) Antioxidant properties.

Chaparral is used for arthritis, malignant growths, respiratory, digestive and urinary tract infections and as a mosquito repellent.

It makes a nice antiseptic fomentation to apply to wounds.

Research with this herb and its treatment of malignancies has been inconsistent.

Contraindications: Do not use during pregnancy. Individuals with liver disease should seek advise from a qualified health care practitioner before consumption. There have been cases of idiosyncratic, non-viral hepatitis linked with this herb in the past. If nausea, fever, fatigue or jaundice with symptoms of dark urine and yellow discoloration of the eyes occur, discontinue use immediately.  Some people have allergic hypersensitivity to the plant or its resin. The National Institute of Health Said this about the liver toxicities, “The rare cases of liver injury reported with chaparral use have had idiosyncratic features, and the rapid recurrence after re-exposure and finding of eosinophils on liver biopsy suggest an allergic or immunological cause of injury.  As with other reported herbal toxicities, the liver injury attributed to chaparral may have been due to contaminants or improperly prepared extracts.” Although thought possibly to be due to contaminants we can not assume this and must be careful with this herb. All resinous liquid extracts of herbs, like chaparral, will precipitate in water and stick to the container or glass.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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