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Chaparral, is a tough plant with a long history of medicinal use by the native peoples of North America. Traditionally, it was taken internally to treat joint pain and to eliminate worms. Chaparral tea was applied externally to painful joints and minor wounds, and also used as a mouthwash and hair rinse. When European herbalists encountered chaparral, they initially used it to treat colds, flus, and intestinal infections. Later, based on a number of unsubstantiated cases, chaparral gained a reputation as a miracle cancer cure.
Note: There are a number of reports in which it appears that internal use of chaparral has caused serious liver injury. See Safety Issues for more information.
We do not recommend using chaparral internally.
For external use, chaparral may be prepared as a tea or allowed to diffuse its contents into oil over several days or weeks. The resulting preparation is then applied in the form of a wet or oil-soaked cloth.