Creosote Bush / Larrea tridentata)

There is a family of uncultivated plants called Larrea Tridentata. Other common names for it exist. As a plant called creosote bush and greasewood and as a medicinal herb called chaparral and gobernadora in Mexico.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Plantae

Clade: Angiosperms

Clade: Eudicots

Clade: Rosids

Order: Zygophyllales

Family: Zygophyllaceae

Genus: Larrea

Species: L. tridentata

Binomial name: Larrea tridentate

Common Name: Dwarf evergreen oak, Gobernadora, Greasewood, Chaparro, Creosote bush


It is an evergreen shrub that rarely reaches a height of 4 m (13 ft), growing from 1 to 3 m tall. The plant's stems are made up of two opposing, lance-shaped leaflets with a sticky, dark-green base that is linked at the base and a deciduous apex in between. Each leaflet is 4 to 8.5 mm thick and 7 to 18 mm in length. The flowers have five yellow petals and can reach a diameter of 25 mm. Because of the distinctive scent of creosote, which is an oily substance that is brownish in color, the entire plant bears the common name "Creosote Bush." It smells similar to the "smell of rain."


Desert environments, such as those in the southwest of the United States, South America, and northern Mexico, are where Larrea Tridentata thrives.

Chemical Constituents of Larrea tridentata

Nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), non-water-soluble aglycones, water-soluble glycosides, and sulfated flavonoids are all present in Larrea tridentata. Triterpenesaponin, volatile oils, wax esters, sterols, and other hydrocarbons are also present.s.

Medicinal Properties 







The primary component of Larrea Tridentata is the therapeutic nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA). NDGA has antioxidant and anticancer qualities and may be helpful in the treatment of a variety of disorders affecting multiple body systems, including the nervous system, immunological system, and cardiovascular system.

Cardiovascular Disease - By lowering the body's free radical levels, Larrea Tridentata's antioxidant properties aid in disease prevention. It guards against the harm brought on by atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and other causes to the arteries and blood vessels.

Lowers Cholesterol - This herb's ethanolic extract lowers total cholesterol, triglycerides, and insulin, and improves insulin sensitivity. It increases the liver's ability to produce antioxidants. This Larrea Tridentata ethanolic extract aids in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Treat Cancer - Because it contains nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), research indicates that this plant aids in the treatment of viral and cancerous disorders. Breast, esophageal, prostate, lung, and skin cancer are just a few of the cancers that can be treated with the use of this anticancer property. It might impede the development of tumors and malignant cells. It improves some therapies and lessens chemotherapy's harmful side effects on healthy cells.

HIV Treatment - In the pig pulmonary arteries, the HIV protease inhibitor ritonavir (RTV) induces endothelium and vasocontractility that can be reduced by NDGA (nordihydroguaiaretic acid), a natural antioxidant. NDGA limits RTV activity and prevents the formation of superoxide anions in pulmonary arteries and human pulmonary artery endothelial cells (HPAEC). This demonstrates the value of NDGA in HIV patients.

Neurological Disorders - Neurodegenerative diseases are significantly influenced by oxidative stress. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress. Antioxidants like NDGA found in Larrea Tridentata aid in preventing free radicals from producing oxidative stress. It offers a potential cure for neurological disorders and shields brain cells from different kinds of harm. It has been suggested that NDGA may be used to treat:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Stroke

Immune System - The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), the human papillomavirus (HPV), and the herpes simplex virus are just a few of the viruses that the NDGA suppresses and inhibits to provide immune support and strengthen our immune system

Traditional Uses of Larrea tridentata

  • Diabetes is treated with a decoction made from dried branches and bark, while abortive diabetes is treated orally with a decoction made from dried roots.
  • Urinary tract infections, kidney issues, frigidity, and blood purification are all treated with hot water and dried leaf extract.
  • Additionally, it is used to treat tumors, paralysis, wounds, diabetes, rheumatism, arthritis, gallstones, and skin problems.
  • As an expectorant and tonic, dried leaf extract in hot water is also used to treat tuberculosis.
  • Dandruff may be treated with an infusion of the plant.
  • Indians also use it as a diuretic, to cure venereal illness, and to ease intestinal pains.
  • To treat exterior wounds, dried leaf extract dissolved in hot water is utilized.
  • The leaf decoction is used to treat diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems.
  • This plant's young branches are used as a toothache remedy.

Parts used

Leaves, flowers, and fruit.


LarreaTridentata dosage is based on a number of variables, including the patient's age, health, and various other circumstances. Therefore, it is preferable to visit a physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional who is experienced with this herb.


  • Due to the increased risk of toxicity, it should not be advised for individuals with impaired kidney and liver function.
  • Additionally, it should not be used during pregnancy or lactation due to its negative effects on uterine function.

Side Effects

  • Acute hepatitis, skin reactions, and kidney and liver damage, including kidney and liver failure, are just a few of the major side effects that this herb can have.
  • Additional adverse effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.

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