Chaparral (Larrea mexicana)

AVOID THE HERB CHAPARRAL

Chaparral, an herb from the creosote bush, a desert shrub, was used by Native Americans in the Southwest and Mexico a hundred years ago for everything from venereal disease to snakebite, according to HealthSCOUT. But today it's regarded as dangerous because of liver toxicity, say herbalists. It made Consumer Reports' potentially harmful list and was removed in 1968 from the FDA's "generally regarded as safe" list. An article in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported adverse reactions in 18 people between 1992 and 1994.

Herb Industry and FDA Issue Chaparral Warning: Experts unable to Explain Possible Links to Five Cases of Hepatitis

Herb Industry and FDA Issue Chaparral Warning: Experts unable to Explain Possible Links to Five Cases of Hepatitis

The American Herbal Products Association and the Food and Drug Administration are warning industry and consumers about the potential health hazards of the herb chaparral. The warning follows a published report of two cases of non-viral hepatitis that health officials believe may be associated with the ingestion of chaparral. Three additional reports from physicians -- one of them involving a serious, life-threatening case -- prompted the herb industry and FDA to take action.

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