|Herb of the Day – Chaparral Leaf|
|Native to the Southwestern parts of US and Mexico, Chaparral Leaf, or Larrea tridentata has long been used among Native Americans to treat arthritis, respiratory ailments, and even cancer. Interestingly, the plant produces a sap that keeps other plants from growing near itself, and while the branches may wither or fall off, the crown rarely dies and sometimes reproduces itself. Indeed, an example in California is believed by some to be well over 11,000 years old. For these qualities it was often revered within local lore, and the Southwestern Native Americans often used the sap as a sunscreen, and the plant in general as a treatment for assorted ailments, including blood poisoning, and liver disease. They also used to the leave to brew a tea that they would use to rid the body of parasites.
Modern herbalists see it most commonly as an expectorant, of great use in treating respiratory issues like asthma, bronchitis, and the coughing symptoms of the common cold. Chaparral Leaf has also been shown to possess antioxidant qualities, believed to help destroy the particles that destroy cells and possibly cause cancer. Studies have been conducted that show the leaf to aid in restricting cancerous growth. While the leaf possesses a great many positive qualities, it has been shown to occasionally react poorly with the liver, and you should discontinue use if you experience nausea, fever, fatigue, or Jaundice while using the herb.