Touted as a way to cleanse the body of stored toxins, chaparral (Larrea divaricata) is a desert shrub that grows in Mexico and the southwestern United States. It has a history of use by Native Americans, who made a tea from the leaves to treat chicken pox, colds, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, pain, snake bites, skin disorders and rheumatism.
Chaparral is now available in capsules, tablets and tincture form, and is promoted as a treatment for acne, dandruff, diabetes, PMS, sciatica, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers, urinary tract infections, cancer and the aforementioned toxin cleansing.
I don't recommend taking chaparral internally (as a tea or supplement) for any condition. Although it has been linked to rare cases of kidney and liver dysfunction, it appears to be generally nontoxic, but I haven’t seen any scientific evidence showing that it is effective when taken internally for the conditions for which it is so often recommended, including cleansing the body of toxins. However, I do recommend chaparral for topical use to treat eczema and other kinds of skin irritation and inflammation. You can buy chaparral lotions or salves from stores that sell herbal preparations.
Learn more about chaparral and other supplements.