What is chaparral?
Native Americans traditionally used chaparral for medicinal purposes. The herb’s active components come from the leaves of Larrea tridentata or L. divaricata, a desert-dwelling evergreen shrub native to the southwestern United States and Mexico.
From the late 1950s to the 1970s, some people drank chaparral tea to fight cancer. In 1970, the Food and Drug Administration removed the herb from its “generally recognized as safe” list.
Common doses of chaparral
Chaparral comes as tablets, capsules, and teas. Experts disagree on what dose to take. For daily consumption, some recommend the tea.
Why people use chaparral herb
Side effects of chaparral
Call your health care practitioner if you experience skin irritation when using chaparral.
Chaparral can also cause kidney cancer, kidney cysts, and liver damage.
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you’re taking.
Important points to remember
- Know that this herb can cause serious liver damage. The damage usually resolves once the person stops using chaparral. However, some people have experienced severe irreversible liver damage and acute liver failure and required liver transplants. Call your health care practitioner promptly if you experience possible symptoms of liver damage, such as jaundice and fatigue
What the research shows
Studies investigating chaparral’s active component in treating cancer, AIDS, and Alzheimer’s disease have shown conflicting results. Further research is needed. In the meantime, medical experts don’t recommend this herb because it has been linked to liver damage
Other names for chaparral : –
Other names for chaparral include creosote bush, greasewood, and Hediondilla.
No known products containing chaparral are commercially available.