Part Used: Dried leaf & flower (minimal stem)
Chaparral (Larrea tridetate) is a shrub found in the desert regions of southwestern United States and Mexico. It was used by Native American populations for indications including chicken pox (varicella), colds, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, pain, rheumatic diseases, skin disorders, snake bites, and as an emetic. Chaparral tea was also used for purported effects of removing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) residue and thereby preventing recurrent hallucinations. Chaparral leaves have also been used externally for bruises, scratches, wounds, and hair growth. The active constituents of Chaparral are flavone and flavonol aglycones, larreic acid, guaiuretic acid lignans including nordihydroguaiaretic acid, and quercetin bioflavonoids. It has actions like antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and used for skin disorders, rheumatism, arthritis, bursitis, etc.
Chaparral is a useful topical treatment for abrasions and wounds. In addition to its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, it is a useful respiratory and urinary antiseptic. It has a history of use in the treatment of skin cancers and is regarded as a panacea by the Arizona natives. Internally, it has been shown to inhibit free-radical damage to the liver and lungs. It is a traditional remedy for cancer, but research has shown that while it can indeed inhibit the growth of cancer cells, it can also stimulate their growth. Nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) is one of the active constituents, which is a powerful parasiticide. Chaparral has been promoted for use in arthritis, cancer, and various other conditions, but there is insufficient evidence supporting its effectiveness. Chaparral and its component Nordihydroguaiaretic acid have antioxidant ("free-radical scavenging") properties, and have been proposed as cancer treatments.
Medline Plus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-chaparral.html
Purple Sage Botanicals. http://www.purplesage.org.uk/profiles/chaparral.htm