What Is Chaparral, and Is It Safe

What Is Chaparral?

Chaparral is a type of evergreen shrub native to the western United States. It grows from sea level to 2,000 feet (60 meters). Its leaves are opposite in shape with serrated edges and a flat top. They have no petioles or stalks; instead they grow straight up into the air like vines. Their flowers bloom from June through September.

The name “chapa” comes from the Spanish word “cama,” which means “leaf.” The Latin root of the word “chapa” is “carrare,” which means to bend or twist.

In addition to its common name, chaparral is also known as desert poppy, desert sagebrush, sagebrush, scrub oak, prickly pear cactus and prickly pear cactus.

Is Chaparral Safe?

Chaparral is considered safe to use in herbal medicine because it does not contain any harmful chemicals. It contains no pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. Chaparral is also free of mold, mildew and other diseases.

It is not only safe but also effective when used properly.

Chaparral is used to treat respiratory tract issues, depression, headache, fatigue and weight loss. It is also used to promote urination and prevent the growth of certain tumors.

It can also be applied topically to treat insect bites, arthritis and mouth sores.

Is it safe to consume?

Chaparral does contain small amounts of toxins that affect the liver and cause digestive issues when consumed in large quantities.

It is safe to consume small amounts of tea made from the leaves, but you should not drink more than one cup a day.

Chaparral can also be applied topically to skin for its antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-itching properties. You can make a salve or lotion and apply it to your skin to treat acne, poison ivy rash, dermatitis and other skin conditions.

Is it safe when applied topically?

No. It is not safe to apply chaparral to your skin undiluted. It can cause your skin to turn red and burn easily in the sun. It may also cause allergic reactions in some people.

When applied topically, only use chaparral that has been diluted with an oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. Do not use chaparral that has been concentrated and sold in capsules.

These may be expensive but they do not have the same benefits.

Is it safe for children?

No. While some parents claim to give their children small amounts of tea, this practice is not recommended. Children are more sensitive to chemicals than adults. They are also less able to process these chemicals effectively. This might cause liver damage or other health issues in the future.

If you choose to give your child chaparral tea, consult a doctor first.

How do you prepare it?

You can make a cup of tea by bringing one cup of water to a boil. Remove the water from heat and add one tablespoon of dried leaves. Allow the mixture to steep for ten minutes. Strain out the leaves and enjoy.

What are some side effects?

There are no known side effects when chaparral is taken in small amounts for a short period of time. If you experience stomach pain, nausea or vomiting when consuming chaparral, seek immediate medical attention.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience yellowing of the skin, eyes or nails. These can be signs of liver damage.

Chaparral can cause adrenaline to build up in your body. This might cause some side effects such as headaches, diarrhea, rapid heartbeat and difficulty sleeping.

If you experience any of these side effects, decrease your intake of chaparral or stop taking it completely.

Does it interact with other substances?

Chaparral can interact with several other drugs and medical conditions. These interactions are not well understood, so talk to your doctor before using any medication or chaparral.

Some drugs that interact with chaparral include:

SSRI’s such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil.

Vaccines containing live viruses such as the flu shot.

Blood thinners such as Warfarin or Coumadin.


Talk to your doctor before using chaparral if you are taking or have taken any of these drugs or medications in the past.

Does it cause weight gain, loss or have any other effects on weight?

Chaparral has not been shown to affect weight in a significant manner.

Not for Human Consumption – This information is for educational purposes and is not intended to treat or cure any disease.

Website © 2017 Ascension Medically Authorized Online Pharmacy. All Rights Reserved.

Sources & references used in this article:

An experimental prescribed burn to reduce fuel hazard in chaparral by LR Green – Res. Note PSW-RN-216. Berkeley, CA: US Department …, 1970 – fs.usda.gov

The Safety of Low-Dose Larrea tridentata (DC) Coville (Creosote Bush or Chaparral): A Retrospective Clinical Study by S Heron, E Yarnell – The Journal of Alternative & Complementary …, 2001 – liebertpub.com

Unsafe and potentially safe herbal therapies by TB Klepser, ME Klepser – American Journal of Health-System …, 1999 – academic.oup.com

Conversion of chaparral areas to grassland techniques used in California by JR Bentley – Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture, Forest …, 1967 – fs.usda.gov