A wild harvested and sifted product that is grows naturally here on 80 plus acres of Shiflet House land.
Chaparral (Larrea Tridentata), also known as: Creosote Bush, Créosotier, Greasewood, Hediondilla, Jarilla, Larreastat, it is a particular herbaceous woody shrub that is native to the deserts in the southwestern region of the United States and the northern region of Mexico. It is said that Chaparral is one of the oldest, living plants on Earth. Due to one specimen in the Mojave Desert called the “King Clone” we believe it has been on earth since creation. For centuries, it has been used by the Native Americans Indian tribes in Southwestern North America and the Amerindians from South America in herbal medical remedies through many different application methods.
Its scent is unmistakably the "Desert Rain Scent" we smell during and after a desert rain storm. It has a slight sweet scent that has this electric energy to it that is alluring and envelops the mind and senses. It can completely overwhelm you with its aroma giving you an unforgettable sensory experience of the true essence of the desert southwest. This is why Shiflet House named its product line Chaparral Rain.
Chaparral had been used in a variety of ways for the following conditions.
There are a number of preparations that can be made from Chaparral. Here is a list of some examples with a few medicinal uses for them. Due to the antioxidant properties of this plant, most of these preparations will have a longer shelf life than medicines made from other plants.
- Tincture-tincture with 95% ethanol at about 1:2, or as close to this as you can get while having the leaves covered by the menstruum and a few inches above it.
- Infused oil-soak (infuse) the leaves in extra virgin olive oil, and let them sit for at least 2 weeks in the oil. Cover the leaves with the oil and have a few inches of it above them. Since they resist mold, you can let the leaves stay in the oil for a longer period of time than most plants.
There are two very good reasons to make this preparation. The first is Chaparral’s use as an external antiseptic. The oil alone, or combined with other plants, can be applied directly to wounds. The second reason is Chaparral’s strong antioxidant effects. The constituents (chemicals) helps stabilize the infused oil, and by adding the Chaparral oil into other oils or salves, it will slow down their rate of rancidity and give them a longer shelf life. The only drawback to this is its strong taste and smell so you may not want to employ it in preparations like lip balms.
- Salve-salves are basically infused oils solidified with beeswax with essential oils sometimes added in. Using Chaparral in a salve is similar to using it as an infused oil.
- Tea-tea is a water-based preparation generally prepared with hot water. Chaparral is usually infused (hot water poured on) rather than decocted (cooked) in the water. Remember that if you were directed by your medical doctor to drink Chaparral, you may want to use a light touch with the plant, it is strong tasting. If you are using as mouthwash do not swallow, it taste terrible.
- Honey-an infused honey is when the plant is covered with honey which will eventually extract the plant constituents. There are a few ways of increasing the ability of the honey to absorb these. One is heating it in a double boiler or just keeping the jar near a warm place so that the honey is liquid enough to allow movement of the materials between the plant and the honey.
I have not used Chaparral honey yet, but I am considering it as a burn medicine to have the Chaparral augment the honey for this type of treatment.
- Capsule-these are plants powdered and put into various types of capsules. There are good reasons to use capsules with Chaparral. First, the plant’s constituents are stable, so the medicinal action will still be potent even after the powdering process. The second is that this plant has a very strong taste so many people will not take it. But capsules can bypass the taste buds. Remember that if there is a lot of ‘Chaparral dust’ on the capsule, it might decrease patient compliance (meaning it will taste bad). Consult your medical doctor before taking Chaparral in capsule form.
- Compress-a compress (compare to poultice) is prepared from a tea of the plant and then a cloth dipped into the tea is applied to the distressed body area. Chaparral compresses are especially helpful when you cannot directly soak the affected area. You can also soak a bandage with the tea (or tincture) though it is sometimes problematic to keep an area too moist for too long.
- Poultice-a poultice is when the plant is applied directly to the body (as opposed to a tea of the plant, see compress). I tend to use compresses more often as they are less sloppy. One of the most common types of poultice is called a ‘spit poultice’. This is when you chew a plant up and spit it on the hurt area. Good luck with this and Chaparral.
- Powder-as mentioned in capsules, the powder of Chaparral is pretty stable and will last a while. A reason to powder it is to combine it with other plants and substances such as clay. It can also be stirred and drank, or put into capsules.Consult your medical doctor before ingesting Chaparral.
- Wash/Soak/Sitz/Bath-these are all ways of soaking a body part in Chaparral tea (or tincture if need be). This is one of my favorite ways of using Chaparral, making a very strong tea and then soaking an infected body part such as a foot or forearm. I think it is one of the most effective ways of using this plant. To prepare this, just make a very strong tea of the plant and soak the body part in hot, but not painfully hot water. The heat helps by keeping the local pores open allowing better infiltration of the plant constituents. Keep in mind that the water may have infectious material in it so make sure the vessel is washed well and the water disposed of properly.
One should use caution when taking Chaparral orally because it has been associated with serious poisoning when not under the direct supervision of a medical doctor. Adverse reactions from ingesting large quantities of bold-strong brewed/steeped chaparral tea can include liver and kidney damage, acute hepatitis, irreversible renohepatic failure, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomatitis, and fever.
Chaparral when used Topically as a Salve, Oil, Wash or Soak is considered SAFE for use.
- Fernández, Sara Fernández, Luz M. Hurtado and Francisco Hernandez. “FUNGICIDAL COMPONENTS OF CREOSOTE BUSH RESIN.” (1979).
DISCLAIMER (Required by US Federal Law): Any information shared or presented is NOT meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nor are the products which are discussed and / or presented in them meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease; they have NOT been evaluated by the FDA. Please seek advice from a health care professional knowledgeable in your area of concern. In addition, this website is to bring about awareness and education on Shiflet House products that use Essential Oils, Herbs and other all natural elements used to create unique products for humans and animals. My intent is to educate and empower individuals to make educated decisions using natural approaches. Thank you for visiting Shiflet House and exploring Larrea Tridentata.