Presented by: UT El Paso / Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program & Paso del Norte Health Foundation
   
 

 

        Spanish

 

Common Name:
Creosote Bush , Chaparral
 
Scientific Name:
Larrea tridentata
 

Compilation by Armando Gonzalez Stuart, PhD.

 
  Other Common Names:
“Chaparral”, Gobernadora, Guamis, Hediondilla, Jarilla.
     
  Where is it found?
Arid and semi arid portions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. A closely related species, L. divaricata, inhabits the cold desert regions of Argentina and has very similar properties.
     
  Parts of the plant used:
The leaves and twigs.
     
  How is it used?
In Mexican traditional medicine, the leaves and twigs are stepped in boiling water for just a few seconds to make a tea. The tea made from this plant has a very strong, bitter taste, which usually limits its consumption. The tea is usually taken only for short periods of time, rarely more than 2 weeks. Fairly recently, however, marketing schemes recommend the use of tablets and capsules made from creosote bush leaves for internal use. The capsules and tablets have not been the usual form of consuming creosote bush for medicinal purposes, and convey a much more concentrated form of the plant and its active chemicals in comparison to the tea. For this reason, pills and capsules made from this plant are potentially more dangerous to use. Because of this, the FDA banned the sale of these products in the United States.
     
  What is it used for?
Internally as tea for gall bladder stones, kidney stones, venereal (sexually transmitted) diseases and some types of cancer. Factual data as to its efficacy against most of these ailments is lacking. Externally, it is employed as a wash for athlete’s foot, ringworm and other fungal skin infections, venereal disease and as a foot deodorant.
     
  Safety/Precautions
•Creosote bush may cause liver and kidney damage with concentrated or prolonged usage, especially in pill or tablet form. •This plant may cause kidney irritation and damage, according to concentration, dose and length of treatment. •Do not use in any form during pregnancy or lactation. •Avoid use in small children. •Do not use internally in patients with liver cirrhosis or hepatitis, since large doses of the capsules, pills or tea may cause liver necrosis. •External application may cause allergy (contact dermatitis) in susceptible individuals.
     
  Disclaimer
Before you decide to take any medicinal herb or herbal supplement, be sure to consult with a health professional first. Avoid self-medication and diagnosis. Always be on the safe side!
     

 

 

 

 

   
 

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