Information on Chaparral

Latin NameLarrea divaricata
Other NamesCreosote bush
Part UsedFlowering Tops
Herb FormsTinctures, capsules, tablets, bulk herb, powder.
AffectsImmune system, Liver
CautionsNot for long-term use by people with kidney disease or liver conditions. Recent controversy surrounds the use of this herb internally, after several reports in the literature associated chaparral use with liver disease. An expert medical review of these
Botanical InfoA common aromatic, resinous desert shrub that grows up to twelve or fifteen feet high with small resinous leaves, bright yellow flowers, and white, hairy fruits.
DescriptionChaparral has been used traditionally as a remedy for bronchitis, colds, rheumatism, stomach pain, venereal disease, and chicken pox. It promotes sweating and improves the elimination of toxins from the liver and skin. Chaparral's antibacterial activity makes it useful externally for skin abrasions or injuries. It is used as a douche for trichamonas. Chaparral contains NDGA, a substance used by the food industry to prevent fermentation and decomposition; this constituent may account for its antioxidant activity. It is a famous cancer remedy, and American herbalists think of it as a concentrated extract applied externally for skin cancer and sometimes recommend the powdered herb in capsules or tablets, or the tea as a cancer-preventative or remedy. Scientific provings for antitumor activity with this herb are inconclusive.

Chaparral has a taste of BITTER, ACRID and a temperature of WARM.


Infusion1/2-1 cup 2 x daily
Powder2 capsules 2 x daily
Tincture2 droppersful 2 x daily

Ailments Treated by Chaparral

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Hangoverpurify the bloodtincture, capsule
Trichomonasantiparasitictea, tincture (diluted) as a douche
Colds, acuteantiviral, antibacterial, expectoranttea, tincture, capsules
Cancerantitumortea, capsules, tincture


Newall, C. et al.. 1996. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press.
Leung, A. and S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.