HEPATITIS AND LIVER DEMAGE Chaparral was widely used during the 1950s as a food
preservative and to preserve naturals fibers. In 1960s, it was reported that chaparral caused
serious side effects and toxicities including renal and hepatoxicity. [8]

At the end of 1992, FDA issued a warning against the use of chaparral, because this herb
was linked to five cases of hepatitis. [1] Furthermore, researchers found that kava-kava,
chaparral, and germander cause liver toxicity, and elevated alanine aminotransferase,
aspartate aminotransferase, and bilirubin concentrations in a healthy individual taking such
herbal products. [2] Recently, a young, previously healthy woman also developed severe
acute hepatitis after consumption of chaparral tablets. Primary liver biopsy showed severe
toxic hepatitis consistent with previous reports of chaparral-induced liver damage.[3]

CANCER? Nordihydroguaiaretic acid is an antioxidant used experimentally to induce cystic
renal disease in rats. It may be extracted from the leaves of the creosote bush, which are
consumed as chaparral tea in the southwestern United States. Researchers reported a case
of cystic renal disease and cystic adenocarcinoma of the kidney associated with a history of
protracted consumption of chaparral tea. [4]

ABOUT CHAPARRAL (Larrea v. sp.)

It has been believed that chaparral herb has health benefits on these conditions:  cancer,
venereal disease, arthritis, rheumatism, tuberculosis, colds, stomach disorders and skin
infections. [5]

The key ingredient of the plant is Nordihydriguaiaretic acid [a phenolic compound]; it is an
immune stimulating polysaccharides and it may have  antitumor properties. [5,6]
Researchers found that nordihydroguaiaretic acid inhibited the colon cancer cell line HT29
butyrate-mediated proliferation [7].


[1] Lalitha Thomas, 10 Essential Herbs, Second Edition, Lalitha Thomas DBA Good Marketing L.L.C.
Hohm Press.[2]  Dasgupta A, Bernard DW.Herbal remedies: effects on clinical laboratory tests.Arch
Pathol Lab Med. 2006 Apr;130(4):521-8.  [3] Kauma H, Toxic acute hepatitis and hepatic fibrosis after
consumption of chaparral tablets.Scand J Gastroenterol. 2004 Nov;39(11):1168-71.   [4] Smith AY et
al Cystic renal cell carcinoma and acquired renal cystic disease associated with consumption of
chaparral tea: a case report.J Urol. 1994 Dec;152(6 Pt 1):2089-91.[5] Chaparral herb extract Liquid
Herb Native Essence Herb Co. [6] Youngren JF et al,
Nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) inhibits the IGF-1 and c-erbB2/HER2/neu receptors and
suppresses growth in breast cancer cells. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2005 Nov;94(1):37-46.[7] Galfi P
et al, Sensitization of colon cancer cell lines to butyrate-mediated proliferation inhibition by combined
application of indomethacin and nordihydroguaiaretic acid. Cancer Detect Prev. 2005;29(3):276-85.
Epub 2005 Feb 17.  [8] Arteaga S, Andrade-Cetto A, Cardenas R.Larrea tridentata (Creosote bush),
an abundant plant of Mexican and US-American deserts and its metabolite nordihydroguaiaretic
acid.J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Apr 26;98(3):231-9.
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