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Chaparral is a shrubland or heathland plant community found primarily in California and in the northern portion of the Baja California Peninsula and Mexico. The name comes from the Portuguese and Spanish word “chaparro” (from the Basque word txaparro), meaning dwarf evergreen oak.
Also known as Creosote Bush, Greasewood and Gobernadora, the plant is in the Zygophyllaceae family. To people who live in the region, the smell of Chaparral is unmistakable, because it is recognized as a precursor to rainfall. Volatile oils are released in abundance right before rain and linger long afterward, thanks to Chaparral’s resinous leaves.
Populations native to the American Southwest have a long history of medicinal Chaparral use. It was a panacea for the region’s inhabitants Maricopa, Pima, Shoshone and Papago tribes, for its unique ability to help with a broad range of health conditions. Common preparations of Chaparral in the past include heating sap from its branches to apply on toothaches, making a strong tea from its leaves, macerating the plant to use as a poultice applied to distressed body parts or infusing it in an oil or salve for external use. Herbalists today typically recommend Chaparral as a topical application in salves, baths or poultice, refraining from internal use altogether.
The energetics of Chaparral are cooling and drying and the taste is very bitter. Chaparral has an affinity towards the musculoskeletal system, gallbladder, kidneys, digestive system, respiratory system and blood.
How to Use:
Use Chaparral as an external wash, bath, foot bath, poultice, infused oil or salve.
Cautions & contraindications:
Potential hepatotoxicity resulting from its internal use. Thus, it is not recommended to take internally without the recommendation from a Clinical Herbalist or Naturopath.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.
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