CHAPARRAL, Larrea tridentate

Chaparral Plant

Chaparral, or creosote bush, is a small bush that grows in the deserts of the south west. Its leaves are very small, bitter and taste like creosote. The leaves stay on the bush all year-around.

Native Americans say chaparral is used for arthritis and cancer and that it is a good tonic. It tones up the body, helps the kidneys and urethral tract, aids the digestion, relieves pain, cleanses the lymphatic system and the liver. It is an antibiotic and it is a very good blood purifier.

In October of 1967, an eighty five year old of a man reported to a medical center in Utah, pale and weak, with a growth on with his right cheek. This malignant growth had been surgically removed three times before. He refused more treatment in favor of a natural method of drinking chaparral tea each day for the next eleven months with no other medication. In September of 1968, when he reported back to the hospital, the growth had decreased from the size of a lemon to that of a dime, and he had gained back some lost weight and looked better.

The use of chaparral to cure cancer is not new. The Native Americans have been using it for centuries. One old Indian told me, “The best way to cure cancer is to stop doing what you’ve been doing to cause cancer in the first place. What you it and how much you worry is usually a big part of the cause of cancer.” He said, ‘clean out your system with a physic, and don’t forget, you got to have a plenty of chaparral and sage tea. Take chaparral the first week and sage the next week. Keep changing off like that, chaparral one week and sage the next, three or four cups a day.” He went on to say, “You don’t see many real Native Americans with cancer.” Chaparral contains a phenolic compound, nordihydroguariarretic acid (known as NDGA). There is documentation that NDGA inhibits tumors cell activity in men and mice. This includes leukemia type tumors. In mice experiments, NDGA combined with vitamin C was more successful than when used alone. Many years ago, NDGA was used to relieve pain, before aspirin became popular. Experiments on hamsters demonstrated that NDGA somehow inhibited tooth decay and increased the life span of the animals. NDGA is also used in alcoholism treatment, liver disorders and geriatrics.

In southwest desert area, most old Native American remedies for arthritis include chaparral. They recommend it in poultices, in teas, for soaking limps in hot chaparral water, wearing it next to the skin and even putting it in their shoes. Chaparral is one of the main ingredients in Grandma’s herbal Arth-Aid formula.

Chaparral is rich in many minerals including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, copper and many more. This herb contains almost as much protein as alfalfa, according to the new Mexico Agricultural Experimental Station. Chaparral contains no alkaloids and it is completely non-toxic. Sometimes when I go for a walk, I will stop and pick a few small boughs of a chaparral bush. When I get hope, I will rinse it off and pinch the little bunches of leaves off and put them in a quart bottle, then fill the quart bottle with cold water and set it in the sun for several hours or if I want to drink it sooner, I pour hot water over it and steep it for awhile. Then I have a glass of this chaparral tea morning and night.

Many more stories could be told about chaparral as a deodorizer and room freshener, as an antibiotic, as a vermifuge to fight parasites inside the body or lice on the outside of the body, and as the cleanser of the digestive tract. It will not only help to stop feet from sweating, but will help to stop foot odors. We’ll just say, hey-this is one real fine herb, go pick some and use it.

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