Chaparral (Creosote) Extract Extends Longevity of Mice
Scientists at the University of Michigan, led by Richard Miller, have found that an extract from a common American shrub, called chaparral or creosote (Larrea tridentata), has extended the life of male mice in laboratory tests.
The bush's longevity power is believed to be attributed to a natural anti-inflammatory in its extract, called nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA). Chaparral has a tradition of being a healing herb among Native American tribes. Earlier research at the University of California, San Francisco, demonstrated that NDGA has anti-cancer properties.
While scientists caution that humans should not self-administer NDGA because not much is known about its effect on humans (and, apparently, a few things are harmless to mice but deadly to us), the findings are significant enough to be shared with the scientific community for peer review in the journal Aging Cell.
However, chaparral, in the form of tea, is readily available. Native Americans drank chaparral tea to treat colds, menstrual cramps, skin disorders and minor wounds, chicken pox, and diarrhea.