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Also known as the "creosote bush," Larrea tridentata is a flowering evergreen shrub native to the deserts of the Southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. One interesting characteristic of this plant, which was an important native American herb for centuries, is that it produces a sap that prevents competing species from growing near it. The plant from which we obtain organic chaparral leaf is virtually immortal; although its branches eventually die off, the crown of the bush literally clones itself. One Larrea tridentata growing in western San Bernardino County, California, appears to be over 11,000 years old.
As a medicinal herb, Indians of the Southwestern desert regions historically used the sap as a sunscreen as well as a blood cleanser. The dried herb, when brewed in tea and ingested, may help the body rid itself of toxins.
As with all organic bulk herbs, chaparral leaf should be used cautiously and under the guidance of a licensed naturopath or trained herbalist.
Warning: Rare reports of serious liver disease have been associated with ingestion of Chaparral. Seek advice from a health care practitioner before use, and in so doing, inform them if you have had, or may have had, liver disease, frequently use alcoholic beverages, or are using any medications. Discontinue use and see a doctor if vomiting, fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, or jaundice (e.g. dark urine, yellow discoloration of the yes) should occur.
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