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Herbs: Larrea Tridentata (Creosote Bush)

FAMILY: Zygophyllacea
COMMON NAMES: Chaparral, Creosote bush, creosotum
PART USED: leaves, tinctured or dried for tea


DOSAGE: Controversial. FDA has "removed this botanical from public access" due to potential liver toxicity. Nevermind that anyone could harvest bushels of it from many desert roadsides. Recommended dose has always been small. Discontinue if signs of jaundice.

GENERAL: Smells lovely in the Sonoran desert when it rains. Poisons the soil in which it grows so that nothing else will grow there. Left alone for long enough it will leave large areas of the desert without plant life, and a circle of creosote bushes around the edge.

HABIT: Evergreen shrub with small yellow flowers, found in the desert southwest US and Mexico. Collect in spring. Thrives where rainfall is under 15"/year. Tough stems, leaves sticky when handled, very distinctive odor. No thorns or spines. Olive drab color--different from all other shrubs of the desert and distinguishable from a distance.

CONSTITUENTS:
--norhydroguiuratic acid (NHGA, antioxidant)
--flavonoids incl quercetin
--waxes
--saponins
--resins
--volatile oils
--alkaloids

ACTIONS
--antioxidant
--anti-inflam
--anti-microbe
--anti-neoplasm
--alterative
--antiseptic

INDICATIONS
--autoimmune incl SLE
--cancer
--decrease platelet agg
--external skin lesion
--dental infx

SOURCES:
--course notes (Nagle)--looks to me like Nagle got his notes from this website-->
http://www.naturalopinion.com/nmp/nmp5/Larrea.htm

Comments

liveonearth
Jan. 25th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
Re: purpose...
Hey, now. Creosote is a beautiful thing, even if you can't figure out how to get rich off it. I absolutely adore creosote bush.

But really, I don''t plan to use it as herbal medicine unless there is scientific justification. Any culture that lived with creosote would find it distinctive and attempt to use it for things. Traditional use in one group of people doesn't mean that it really works, it just means that people were using what they had and nature was making the cure while they were entertaining themselves with plant life. If a traditional use is found valuable round the world (think ginger, or ginseng), or if I had corroborating personal experiences, then I'll dig deeper.

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