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Amber's Organics LLC Medical Herb Seed A-Z > Chaparral Larrea divaricata Cav
Chaparral Larrea divaricata Cav

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Note. Seeds are dormant and do not germinate readily. Need light to germinate in autumn. Sow in lightweight sterilized soil mix. Do not cover, press firmly and water. Place containers in garden digging them apart way into soil. Cover with loose mulch when germination begins. When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings. Dormant seeds often fail to germinate the first year needing a second water to overcome dormancy. Indoors. Place seeded flat tray in fridge 1-12 months until germination begins.


SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Larrea divaricata Cav. [synon. with L. tridentata (DC) Coville], also referred to as L. glutinosa Engelm. Family: Zygophyllacea

COMMON NAME(S): Chaparral, creosote bush, greasewood, hediondill.

Chaparral , is an herb derived from the common desert shrubs Larrea tridentata and Larrea divaricata . Native to the Southwestern United States, the leaves and stem of these desert plants have been used for centuries by Native American healers.


Chaparral is an herb that has been used for centuries by Native American healers. Chaparral is one of the best herbal antibiotics that are useful against bacteria, viruses, and parasites, both internally and externally.

Chaparral tea was used as a remedy by American Indians and has been suggested for the treatment of bronchitis and the common cold, to alleviate rheumatic pain, stomach pain, chicken pox, and snakebite pain. A strong tea from the leaves has been mixed with oil as a burn salve. It is an ingredient in some otc weight loss teas.

Reports subsequently appeared in the lay literature describing the virtues of chaparral tea as an antineoplastic treatment.

Botany :- The chaparrals are a group of closely-related wild shrubs found in the arid regions of the southwestern US and Mexico. Chaparral found in health food stores usually consists of leaflets and twigs. This branched bush grows to 270 cm. Its leaves are bilobed and have a resinous feel and strong smell.

Uses of Chaparral

Chaparral tea has been widely used in folk medicine to treat conditions ranging from the common cold to snakebite pain. A derivative was formerly used as a food preservative. Anecdotal and in vitro evidence suggests antineoplastic effects

Side Effects of Chaparral

No longer classified as safe. Chaparral may cause liver damage, contact dermatitis, and stimulate most malignancies


A tea can be prepared by steeping 1 teaspoon (approximately 5 grams) of leaves and flowers in 1 cup (250 ml) of hot water for ten to fifteen minutes. People should drink three cups per day for a maximum of two weeks unless under the care of a physician expert in the use of botanical medicines. Alternatively, 0.5-1 ml of tincture can be taken three times per day. Topically, cloths can be soaked in oil preparations or tea of chaparral and applied several times per day (with heat if helpful) over the affected area. Capsules of chaparral should be avoided.

Chaparral [Larrea tridentata), also known as creosote bush, has been used by Native Americans to treat a variety of illnesses, including cancer. Chaparral contains an ingredient called nor-dihihydroguairetic (NDGA), a potent antitumor agent. NDGA inhibits aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis (the energy-producing ability) of cancer cells. The flavonoids present in chaparral have strong antiviral and antifungal properties.

More than twenty years ago, a Native American healer from Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, traveled the Rocky Mountain West, successfully treating cancer patients with chaparral as the primary remedy. Chaparral, extremely bitter, contains NDGA (nordihydroguaiaretic acid), an anticancer substance. It is also thought to possess more of the antioxidant enzyme SOD than any other plant. Herbs used widely in South America for cancer, even by medical doctors, are pau d'arco (Tabevulia) and Suma (Pfaffia paniculata). These herbs are less bitter than chaparral, and work by tonifying immunity.

Chaparral contains a potent antioxidant constituent that probably accounts for its observed anticancer action. Chaparral has been the subject of a few studies that have resulted in both tumor regression and tumor stimulation. Chaparral has also been used as an antihistamine and as an anti-inflammatory.

Chaparral is toxic to the liver. It can also cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and stomach pain at high dosages.