This desert bush has been traditionally used by Native Americans for a wide variety of treatments including stomach pain, premenstrual syndrome and other menstrual conditions. Chaparral has also been widely used to treat snake bites and pain from chicken pox. Even commercially, chaparral herbal extracts have been used as a meat antioxidant added as a fat or butter preservative.
Cancer patients have claimed to have beneficial effects when drinking chaparral tea and it has also been used to treat acne, rheumatism, diabetes, and gallbladder and kidney stones. Up until 1984, it was approved by the FDA eventually reporting cases of liver toxicity. It has been documented that high doses can cause liver damage and skin reactions. Chaparral is still available in the US because it is deemed safe when highly diluted. Patients should not consume more that 1.5 grams per day.
Chaparral is widely used to treat common issues like the cold, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, and diarrhea. Steeped in cold water, chaparral makes a very strong tea and should be taken sparingly. Monitor any adverse side effects and discontinue use if any pain persists.