Chaparral is a popular herb. The term “chaparral” refers to a group of plants dominated by evergreen shrubs that have small, stiff leaves. The leaf is used to make medicine, but there are a number of serious safety concerns. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have advised consumers against using products containing chaparral due to safety concerns.
Chaparral products found in health food stores usually consists of leaflets and twigs. The branched bush grows up to 2 to 6 m, with small, dark-green leaves that turn bright green after rain and have a resinous texture. Chaparral has been primarily used for the treatment of cancer, acne, rheumatism, and diabetes. It has also been promoted for its antioxidant effects, and as a blood purifier and a weight loss agent.
Native Americans used chaparral as an herbal remedy. They heated the leaves and applied them to the skin to treat wounds, bronchitis, coughs, skin disorders, venereal sores, warts, blemishes, and ringworm. In recent times it has been used as a mouthwash, regardless of the disagreeable flavour and odour. It may completely get rid of the bacteria leading to tooth decay. It is believed to be a good herb in combating the signs of cancer and is regularly suggested by natural medicine practitioners when cancer is identified in the belly, liver, or kidneys. This is because of the strong antioxidant properties that the herb contains. There has been certain research done that proposes that the herb might have the ability to inhibit the development of tumours.
Despite all these uses, chaparral herb should only be used externally even though many people have done otherwise because it is available in the form of capsules and tea forms. Chaparral herb should only be used externally in baths, and the tincture can be used to make creams and lotions. The major traditional use of chaparral in Mexican herbalism is as a bath or liniment to relieve the inflammation and pain of arthritis.