Twig: Slender, light gray to reddish brown, each node is ringed in a darker color and is slightly swollen.
Bark: Initially smooth and gray, eventually becomes darker and splits into shallow fissures and flat plates.
Other reported effects for chaparral include anti-inflammatory properties as well as antimicrobial actions in test tubes. These actions have note been established in human clinical trials.
How much is usually taken?
A tea can be prepared by steeping 1 teaspoon (approximately 5 grams) of leaves and flowers in 1 cup (250 ml) of hot water for ten to fifteen minutes. People should drink three cups per day for a maximum of two weeks unless under the care of a physician expert in the use of botanical medicines. Alternatively, 0.5–1 ml of tincture can be taken three times per day. Topically, cloths can be soaked in oil preparations or tea of chaparral and applied several times per day (with heat if helpful) over the affected area. Capsules of chaparral should be avoided.
Are there any side effects or interactions?
There have been sporadic reports of people developing liver or kidney problems after taking chaparral, particularly in capsules. Almost all of these cases involved either the use of capsules or excessive amounts of tea. Some of these cases were people with established liver disease prior to using the herb. Tea and tincture of chaparral have an extremely strong taste considered disagreeable by most people, which restricts the amount they can tolerate before feeling nauseous. Capsules bypass this protective mechanism and should therefore be avoided. Since human studies have shown that large amounts of chaparral tea and injections of NDGA in people with cancer do not cause liver or kidney problems, it is likely the cases of toxicity represented individual reactions.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with chaparral.