Botanical Name: Larrea Tridenta | Family: Zygophyllaceae

Common name(s): Chaparral, Creosote bush, Greasewood, Hediondilla, Governadora, Guamis


  • Perennial; Evergreen shrub | dessert areas of the Southwest | 3-6 feet | yellow flowers from March – September, followed by a fluffy white fruit.
  • Grown as a bush or pruned to a short tree. Nothing will grow under creosote bush because of toxins it gives off.
  • Drought resistant, it’s the dominant shrub in dessert areas.
  • Hull seeds to improve germination. Hard to root from cuttings.
  • Loose, well-drained sand or loam.


  • Gather leaves from plants that have young green growth.


There are many ways to prepare Chaparral, as it can be used both internally and externally. Tincture (10-30 drops at least 3x/day), powder, tea, water infusion (1/2 ounce fresh or 3-6 grams dry in a pint of boiling water), compress, poultice, oil infusion. It has a very strong (creosote) taste and smell.


Constituents: NDGA (nordihydroquaiaretic acid)

Actions: alterative, antibiotic, antiseptic, parasiticide, expectorant, anti tumor, diuretic

Uses: blood purifier, cancer and tumors, antioxidant, arthritis and rheumatic pains, colds and flus, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, externally on wounds, bruises, injuries, and warts

Combinations: combines well with other alterative herbs


  • Bitter, acid, slightly salty, cool


I live in the Northeast and don’t know this plant at all!