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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Creosote Bush, Stinkweed

(Larrea Tridentata, Larrea Mexicana, Larrea Divaricata)

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  • Chaparral Herbal Description
  • Chaparral Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Chaparral Dosage Information
  • Chaparral Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Chaparral Supplements & Products

  • chaparral


    Chaparral (Larrea tridentata, Larrea mexicana, Larrea divaricata) is also known as Creosote Bush, Greasewood, Chaparro, Little Stinker, Goberrnadora, Hediondilla, and Stinkweed. Chaparral is a member of the Zygophyllaceae family.

    chaparral bush chaparral in bloom

    Chaparral is a strong-scented, olive green bush found throughout the Southwestern United States, Chaparral was thought to be native to the southwest U.S., but actually originated in Argentina several thousand years ago. It is an herb derived from the common desert shrubs Larrea tridentata and Larrea divaricata. This tall, thorny shrub is found in large numbers in the deserts bordering the US and Mexico, reaching six feet in height, the leaves have a nasty, shiny, smelly resin that keeps predators away. If you have ever seen the black sticky resin on railroad ties, you have seen a product of the Chaparral. The stems and leaves of the bush are covered with a sticky resin that screens leaves against ultraviolet radiation, reduces water loss, and poisons or repels most herbivores. This resin is used in herbal medicine and to protect wood from insects.

    chaparral flower

    Sometimes planted ornamentally in dessert gardens, Chaparral's yellow flowers give way to fuzzy white fruits resembling cotton balls. Chaparral received its name "creosote bush" due to the smell that comes from it when it rains. It is extremely bitter in taste, which keeps it safe from animals that would otherwise graze upon it. It is also regarded as one of the most adaptable desert plants in the world; it was one of the first to grow back in Yucca Flats after the 1962 nuclear bomb tests done there.

    For hundreds of years, Native American healers made a tea with the leaves and stems and used as a treatment for colds, flu, diarrhea, arthritis, cancer, venereal disease, tuberculosis, bowel cramps, and rheumatism. Twentieth century herbalists thought of this herb as an antibiotic and used it as a treatment for intestinal parasites. Chaparral can grow in depleted soil and survive for long periods of time without rainfall. This plant was listed in the US Pharmacopoeia from 1842 to 1942.

    chaparral botanical


    This intense-flavored desert plant is a potent healing aid to the entire body, working well for difficult conditions. It tones systems and rebuilds the tissue.

    It cleanses the lower bowel and tones peristaltic muscles. It is used to treat liver congestion, arthritis, rheumatism, stony deposits, stomach disorders, bladder problems, kidney troubles, hemorrhoids, and inflammation of wounds. Chaparral has shown itself to be a free radical inhibitor, helping protect the liver and lungs from these destructive agents. It is applied to all nature of wounds and skin conditions as an antiseptic and healer.

    The principal ingredient in Chaparral is nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA); this is an anticancer agent and a potent antioxidant. More research still needs to be done. This herb also has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, expectorant, emetic and diuretic properties. Chaparral chelates (removes) heavy metals in the body and offers protection against the harmful effects of radiation, sun exposure, and the formation of tumors and cancer cells. It can be used topically for soothing the pain of rheumatism, and as a mouthwash it helps fight cavities. Chaparral can be used as a remedy for venereal disease and urinary infections. It also works well in treating acne and eczema. Externally it can be used for wounds and rashes. This herb is also purported to eliminate the residue of LSD from the bloodstream and it has even been used as tonic for hair growth, although more research still needs to be done. Chaparral contains lignans that are very similar to estrogen, giving it an effect on the skin similar to that of soy taken internally. Applied to the skin, Chaparral can have a remarkable healing effect on eczema, herpes, cold sores, psoriasis and contact dermatitis.

    Chaparral’s flavor can be improved somewhat by combining it with Licorice root. It combines well with Goldenseal and Echinacea for antibiotic effects, and with Elecampane, Yerba Santa, and Gumweed for protecting the lungs. Combines with Angelica root, Black Cohosh, and Wild Yam for relieving joint pains, rheumatic and arthritic conditions. Combines well with Turmeric as a salve for chronic skin conditions.

    chaparral dried leaf


    Chaparral can be toxic, therefore it is highly recommended you consult your health care provider before using this herb for the treatment of your condition.

    Chaparral is an alternative, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, antimicrobial, diuretic, and expectorant. It's energetics includ cold, dry, very bitter, salty and spicy. It predominantly affects the digestive system, skin, circulatory system, eliminative system, respiratory system, genitourinary system.

    Affects on Specific Body Types: The key word for this herb is intensity, earmarking it one of the Warrior’s prime companion plants. With its cold, very bitter energetics, this plant can help cool and lighten the steamy Warrior nature. Strongly anti-inflammatory, Chaparral clears heat and toxins from the respiratory, intestinal, and urinary tracts and detoxifies and decongests the liver with great alacrity. This desert herb is employed effectively for treating chronic skin and arthritic disorders that show pain, swelling, and redness. Chaparral’s bitter, spicy qualities are compatible with the Monarch nature, too, given its ability to remove digestive accumulations and promote regular bowel movements, combined with its ability to improve liver functions, glandular secretions, and general metabolism.

    Chaparral constituents are alpha-pinene, amino acids, beta-pinene, cobalt, gossypetin, limonene, nordihydroguaiaretic acid or NDGA, and zinc. Parts use are the above ground parts of the plant (leaf and stem).

    Typical preparations include tinctures used to make creams and lotions for external use. Seldom found encapsulated or as an extract.


    Tincture Dosage: Begin with 15 to 30 drops three times a day; for difficult conditions, build up to 1 teaspoon per dose.

    Capsules Dosage: Two #00 capsules three times a day as a normal dose.

    Decoction Dosage: Drinking this herb as an infusion or decoction is almost incomprehensible to those who have tasted Chaparral tea; however, 1/2 cup three times a day is the dose for the stoical and the courageous.

    External Use: Applied as a liniment, salve, or tincture. Used for first aid or long-term applications.


    Long term use of Chaparral is not recommended and excessive use may result in stomach upset.

    The American Herbal Products Association once banned Chaparral when it was thought the herb could have caused hepatitis. The ban was lifted because there was no evidence to confirm this.

    Symptoms of Chaparral toxicity include nausea, fever, fatigue or jaundice. Discontinue using immediately if you experience these symptoms.

    Pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease should not take this herb internally. If you are taking any medications (prescription or over-the-counter), it is best to consult with your health care provider before taking this herb for the treatment of your condition.

    Special Warning: Seek advice from a health care practitioner before use if you have or may have kidney or liver disease, Discontinue use if nausea, fever, fatigue, or jaundice (dark urine, yellow discoloration of eyes) should occur.


  • Chaparral Herbal Products

  • Larreastat Supplement Products




    Mountain Rose Herbs: Chaparral Leaf (Larrea Tridentata), Certified Organic, Bulk Organic Herbs & Spices
    Mountain Rose Herbs: Chaparral Extract, Wild Harvested, Single Herbal Extracts & Tinctures
    Mountain Rose Herbs: Cleanse Care Extract, Combination Herbal Extracts & Tinctures
    Cleanse Care Extract contains organic and wildharvested Chickweed, Red Clover, Chaparral, Nettle, Oregon Grape Root, Cayenne and organic grain alcohol.


    Starwest Botanicals: Chaparral Leaf, Cut & Sifted, Wildcrafted, 1 lb.
    Starwest Botanicals: Chaparral Leaf Powder, Wildcrafted, 1 lb.


    HerbsPro: Chaparral Extract, Herb Pharm, 1 fl. oz. (32372)
    HerbsPro: Chaparral Extract, Herb Pharm, 4 fl. oz. (32373)
    HerbsPro: Tribalene With Chaparral, Jason Winters, 60 Tabs (79294)
    HerbsPro: Chaparral, Arizona Natural Products, 500 mg, 90 Caps (13761)
    HerbsPro: Chaparral with Vitamin C-Zinc-Yucca, Arizona Natural Products, 500 mg, 90 Tabs (13763)
    HerbsPro: Chaparral, Arizona Natural Products, 500 mg, 180 Caps (13760)
    HerbsPro: Chaparral with Vitamin C-Zinc-Yucca, Arizona Natural Products, 500 mg, 180 Tabs (13762)


    Kalyx: Chaparral Leaf Powder, Wildcrafted, Starwest Botanicals, 4 oz: C
    Kalyx: Chaparral Leaf Powder Wildcrafted (Larrea tridentata), Starwest Botanicals, 4 oz: C
    Kalyx: Chaparral Leaf (Larrea tridentata), Cut & Sifted, Frontier Bulk Herbs, 1 lb: K
    Kalyx: Chaparral Liquid Extract, Herb Pharm, 1 fl oz: HF
    Kalyx: Chaparral Extract, Health & Herbs, 2 fl oz: HH
    Kalyx: Chaparral Extract, Health & Herbs, 8 fl oz: HH


    Amazon: Chaparral Herbal Products

  • Nutrition Basics: Chaparral Herbal Information


    Larreastat is a trademarked herbal remedy derived from Chaparral that is said to have antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used to treat herpes viral infections.


    Amazon: LarreaPlus, BioGenesis Nurtaceuticals, 90 Caps
    Larrea tridentata has been used historically for its powerful medicinal properties. Provides a broad spectrum immune support from botanical, vitamin, mineral, amino acid, and specialty nutrients for a variety of conditions. An enhanced formula provides a 4:1 extract of Larrea tridentata with bee propolis, olive leaf and L-lysine. Recommended for the treatment of shingles, cold sores and other herpes viral outbreaks.
    Amazon: Lerrea Plus, BioGenesis Nutraceuticals, 90 Caps
    Amazon: Chaparral (Larrea Tridentata), Arizona Natural, 500 mg, 90 Capsules

  • Nutrition Basics: Chaparral Herbal Information

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