Information about the herb Chaparral

Larrea Mexicana, also known as Greasewood  is part of the Zygophyllaceae plant family. Chaparral originates from Southwestern United States and northern Mexico .

General Information

Botanical Name: Larrea Mexicana,  Larrea divaricata

Plant Family: Zygophyllaceae  

Common name: Creosote bush, Gobernadora, Greasewood

History:  Chaparral takes its name from the area it grows in, the desert regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico known as the chaparral ecosystem. 

It has been used for thousands of years by Native Americans for a variety of purposes using the leaves and flowers of this ancient plant as a medicine. The Cahuilla Indians used it for menstrual irregularities.


  • In some cultures bathing in Chaparral once per year was customary to eliminate skin parasites and to detoxify the body

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Plant Constituents of Chapperal


  • antioxidant flavenoids
  • nordihydroguaiaretic acid (the major lignan) 


Chaparral has demonstrated anti-ameba activity in test tubes. 

  • panacea [‘cure-all’]
  • tonic [an agent that tones, strengthens and invigorates organs or the entire organism giving a feeling of well-being]

Usage of Chapperal

Chaparral has been used for: 

Bacterial, Parasitic and Viral Conditions

  • cold sores
  • parasites
  • venereal disease

Blood Conditions

  • hemorrhoids

Gastrointestinal Conditions

  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • intestinal cramps
  • stomach disorders

Genitourinary Conditions

  • bladder and kidney problems
  • kidney problems

Female Conditions

  • menstrual cramps
  • menstrual difficulties
  • regulates menstrual irregularities

Inflammatory Conditions

  • rheumatism
  • rheumatoid arthritis

Respiratory Tract Conditions

  • asthma (combined with Ginger and Ginkgo biloba)
  • colds


  • snake bites
  • wound healing

Used externally for: 

  • bites 
  • bruises
  • cuts
  • disinfecting and deodorizing the body
  • hair and scalp diseases
  • menstrual cramps
  • sores

For external (topical) use:

  • 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
  • powdered chaparral can be applied directly to minor wounds

Other Uses:

  • livestock feed high in protein
  • prevents fats, oils ands butter from becoming rancid


Recommended dosage is as follows:

  • 10-25mL per week of 1:2 fluid extract

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Chaparral should:

  • be avoided for internal use during pregnancy and lactation (Chaparral is safe for topical [external] use during pregnancy)
  • be taken only in extract form and not be taken in capsule form as capsules bypass the body’s protective mechanisms (excess Chaparral makes you nauseous) and should therefore be avoided
  • not be taken internally for more than two weeks consecutively unless under professional care

Side effects or interactions: Sporadic reports of people developing liver or kidney problems: 

  • after taking excessive amounts of chaparral, particularly in capsules or tea form
  • in people with previous liver disease 

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Global Herbal Supplies has Chaparral available in the following forms