MEXICO. Chaparral (Larrea tridentata) Leaf, Wildcrafted
Common names: Creosote Bush, Greasewood
Chaparral grows in desert areas of the Southwest US, as far east as Texas, and deep into Mexico. A colony of Chaparral bushes in the central Mojave Desert in Southeast California is estimated to be nearly 12,000 years old—one of the oldest living organisms on the planet. The plants exude a powerful creosote-like scent.
Native Americans used it for many conditions, including wounds and skin infections, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, chicken pox, menstrual or intestinal cramps, snakebite, diabetes, and cancer. Chaparral continues to be employed as a folk medicine in Mexico.
The plant contains flavonoids and other compounds with impressive antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-protozoal, and antioxidant properties. It can be used externally as a fomentation for fungal infections such as athletes’ foot or ringworm, and for other infectious skin conditions, or applied as a poultice to aching joints.
This is a powerful antioxidant and is a common ingredient in the popularly used Black Salve.
Not recommended for internal use without medical supervision, due to possible effects on the liver and kidneys, especially when those organs are already compromised.
Favela-Hernández JM, García A, Garza-González E, Rivas-Galindo VM, Camacho-Corona MR. (2012). Antibacterial and antimycobacterial lignans and flavonoids from Larrea tridentata. Phytother Res. Dec;26(12):1957-60.
Del Vecchyo-Tenorio G, Rodríguez-Cruz M, Andrade-Cetto A, Cárdenas-Vázquez R. (2016). Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata) Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Reduces Plasma and Hepatic Lipids in Hamsters Fed a High Fat and Cholesterol Diet. Front Pharmacol. 2016 Jun 28;7:194.
Bashyal B, Li L, Bains T, Debnath A, LaBarbera DV. (2017). Larrea tridentata: A novel source for anti-parasitic agents active against Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia and Naegleria fowleri. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Aug 9;11(8):e0005832.
Arteaga S, Andrade-Cetto A, Cárdenas R. (2005). Larrea tridentata (Creosote bush), an abundant plant of Mexican and US-American deserts and its metabolite nordihydroguaiaretic acid. J Ethnopharmacol. Apr 26;98(3):231-9.
Van Slambrouck S, Daniels AL, Hooten CJ, Brock SL, Jenkins AR, Ogasawara MA, Baker JM, Adkins G, Elias EM, Agustin VJ, Constantine SR, Pullin MJ, Shors ST, Kornienko A, Steelant WF. (2007). Effects of crude aqueous medicinal plant extracts on growth and invasion of breast cancer cells. Oncol Rep. Jun;17(6):1487-92.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. As with any herbal medicines, you should contact your doctor to ensure Chaparral is right for you.