Information about Chaparral
Chaparral is a botanical extract of the woody shrub known as creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) which has antioxidant activity and is claimed to have beneficial effects for many conditions from skin rash to cancer.
Liver safety of Chaparral
Chaparral extracts have been linked to several cases of clinically apparent liver injury, some of which have led to acute liver failure and need for emergency liver transplantation.
Mechanism of action of Chaparral
Chaparral is prepared from the leaves of the evergreen desert shrub known as creosote bush (Larrea divaricata, subspecies tridentata), which is found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. The leaves are ground into a powdered extract that can be brewed into tea, which was the form used by Native Americans for centuries to treat various conditions such as respiratory illness, chickenpox, snakebite and arthritis pain. More recently, chaparral has been prepared as a botanical in pill forms as well as in salves for topical application and concentrated extracts to be brewed into tea. Chaparral extracts have multiple active ingredients, the most prominent being nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), which has potent antioxidant properties. NDGA is found in many plant species and has been used as a food additive in low concentrations. As a botanical extract, chaparral has been claimed to have multiple beneficial effects as a free radical scavenger and useful for weight loss, liver wellness, cleansing of blood, improving immunity (cancer, HIV infection) and treating skin disorders. Chaparral is also claimed to retard aging and aid in wellbeing. However, chaparral preparations have not been shown to be effective in any medical condition.
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