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Chaparral (Larrea tridentata (DC) Coville, Larrea divaricata Cav) & Nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA)

an herbal product - treats Cancer

Generic Name: chaparral

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

1 aryl tetralin lignans, chaparral taxa, chaparral tea, chaparro, creosote, creosote bush, dwarf evergreen oak, el gobernadora (Spanish), falsa alcaparra (Spanish), flavonoids, furanoid lignans, geroop, gobernadora, greasewood, guaiaretic acid, guamis, gumis, hediondilla, hideonodo, hydrocarbons, jarillo, kovanau, kreosotstrauch, larrea, Larrea divaricata, Larrea glutiosa, Larrea mexicana, Larrea mexicana Moric, Larrea tridentate, Larrea tridentata (DC) Coville, lignans, maltose-M3N, M4N, NDGA, nordihydroguaiaretic acid, Nordy, palo ondo (Spanish), sapogenins, shoegoi, sonora covillea, sterols, tasago, triterpenes, volatile oils, wax esters, ya-tmep, yah-temp, Zygophyllaceae (family).

Background

Chaparral is a shrub found in the desert regions of southwestern United States and Mexico. It was used by Native American populations for indications including chicken pox (varicella), colds, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, pain, rheumatic diseases, skin disorders, snake bites, and as an emetic. Chaparral tea was also used for purported effects of removing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) residue and thereby preventing recurrent hallucinations. Chaparral leaves have also been used externally for bruises, scratches, wounds, and hair growth.

The chaparral component nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) has been evaluated as a treatment for cancer but, due to risk of toxicity, it is considered unsafe and not recommended for use.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Cancer: Chaparral and one of its components called nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) have antioxidant ("free-radical scavenging") properties and have been proposed as cancer treatments. However, chaparral and NDGA have been linked with cases of kidney and liver failure, liver cirrhosis, kidney cysts, and kidney cancer in humans. In response to these reports, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed chaparral from its "Generally Recognized as Safe" (GRAS) list in 1970. Chaparral and NDGA are generally considered unsafe and are not recommended for use.
Grade: C

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

Safety has not been established for any dose. Small doses of tea have been used; for example, 1 teaspoon of chaparral leaves and flowers steeped in 1 pint of water for 15 minutes, consumed 1-3 cups daily for up to a maximum of several days. Chaparral tea has also been made by steeping 7-8 grams of crumbled dried leaves, stems, and twigs in one quart of hot water. As a water extract, chaparral might be consumed in the amount of one to three cups of chaparral tea per day for a period of two to three weeks, although this is not recommended.

A tincture has also been used; for example, 20 drops up to three times daily. These preparations may be associated with less toxicity, and possibly contain fewer allergenic compounds than capsules or tablets. Oil or powder forms of chaparral have also been used, applied to an affected area of skin several times daily.

Capsules or tablets may deliver large doses leading to toxicity, and are not recommended. Exposure to lignans, which may yield toxicity, appears to be greater from capsules or tablets than from chaparral tea.

Children (younger than 18 years)

Chaparral is not recommended for use in children, due to lack of scientific data and potential toxicity.

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