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Chaparral Restrictions in Canada

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A warning to consumers not to take products containing chaparral (chapparal) has been issued by [Health Canada].

The herb chaparral is found in tea, loose leaves, capsules or bulk herbal products and is mainly sold in health food stores.

In Canada, the manufacturers/importers are asking retailers to remove products containing chaparral from their shelves and a customs alert has been issued by Health Canada to prevent the importation of any further products containing chaparral.

In the US, [Kroeger Herb Products Co., Inc.] in Boulder Colorado sells chaparral in bulk.

Health Canada advises that "Consumers should stop ingesting retail products containing chaparral and seek medical attention if they have experienced symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, fatigue or jaundice (e.g. dark urine, yellow discolouration of the eyes)." One case of hepatitis as so far been reported.

Hepatotoxicity -- the capacity of a substance to have damaging effects on the liver -- has been linked to chapparal tea for almost a decade. In 1996 The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the FDA requested removal from health food stores; at that time no hepatotoxic properties were found.

Chaparral tea contains wood creosote, which has long been associated with kidney and liver damage and even death. Long term environmental exposure to creosote may also cause cancer.

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