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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Dietary Supplements >>  Chaparral

Health Benefits of Oak - Chaparral health Benefits

Chaparral, also referred to as creosote bush, greasewood, chaparro, goberrnadora and little stinker is a desert shrub. This is seen to grow in the Mediterranean climate, such as California, United States, South Africa and Australia. The term ‘Chaparral’, has a Spanish origin (Chaparro), meaning, dwarf and small evergreen oak. It is a densely grown shrub, leaving no space for large animals to go through. Its arid form increases its tendency to wildfire, in the presence of some form of heat or smoke.

The chemical composition of the plant comprises of amino acids, alpha and beta-pinene, limonene, zinc, gossypetin and norhydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA).
NDGA is a potent antioxidant that inhibits the electron transport chain or the respiratory chain and other energy synthesizers, in the cancer cells. They function by depriving these cells of their electrical energy. NDGA is a powerful antioxidant, utilized as an additive for lard and animal shortenings, in the food industry. It is used as a bath herb for chicken pox treatment.

Therapeutic Effects of Chaparral Oak Benefits

Lignans present in chaparral are analogous to estrogen, providing an effect comparable to that of internal soy administration. Topical application of chaparral has a beneficial effect in skin disorders cure, namely, herpes, eczema, psoriasis, cold sores and contact dermatitis. The extract of the leaves and twigs is used to prepare chapparal tea. It is an age old remedy for an extensive array of diseases such as cancer, arthritis, tuberculosis, cold, bowel cramps, rheumatism, and sexually transmitted diseases. It also possesses analgesic, anti-emetic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory properties and diuretic properties.

Chaparral tea is made by steeping 7-8 grams of chaparral stems, dried leaves, and twigs in one quart of hot water. An aqueous chaparral extract can be consumed in quantities of one to three cups every day for a maximum three weeks, although this is not advisable.  Chaparral is not yet recommended for children.

The branches of the shrub are boiled in oil for the therapeutic components to squeeze out and this is strained. This oil is used for massage treatments of rheumatic limbs.  The branches are burnt and the steam is inhaled in sweat lodges. Chaparral is used to fight cavities, and thereby an important component of mouthwash. Chaparral is also available in the form of salves, liniments, and compresses. Chaparral is used for hair growth and as a final hair wash for dandruff.
Abstinence of use in pregnant women is reported. Over usage is damaging to the kidneys, liver and lymph nodes.  Usage of chaparral is recommended under the guidance of a qualified physician.  Cases of liver toxicity exist and research is underway.  

Submitted on January 16, 2014