Prickly Ash Southern

Prickly ash is a warming, stimulating herb that is beneficial for the circulation. It was highly regarded by the native North American Indians who used it especially to alleviate rheumatism and toothache[254]. All parts of the plant, but especially the bark and roots, contain the aromatic bitter oil xanthoxylin[229]. This has a number of applications in medicine, especially in the treatment of arthritic and rheumatic conditions, digestive problems and leg ulcers[229, 254]. The fruit has a similar medicinal action to the bark[4]. The bark and roots are irritant, odontalgic and antirheumatic[213]. Along with the fruit they are diaphoretic, stimulant and a useful tonic in debilitated conditions of the stomach and digestive organs[4]. They produce arterial excitement and are of use in the treatment of fevers, ague, poor circulation etc[4]. The fruits are considered more active than the bark, they are also antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic and antirheumatic[4, 213, 222]. The pulverized root and bark are used to ease the pain of toothache[213, 222]. One report says that it is very efficacious, but the sensation of the acrid bark is fully as unpleasant as the toothache[213]. Chewing the bark induces copious salivation[222]. Rubbing the fruit against the skin, especially on the lips or in the mouth, produces a numbing effect[K]. A tea or tincture of the bark has been used in the treatment of rheumatism, dyspepsia, dysentery, heart and kidney troubles etc[222]. A tea made from the inner bark has been used to treat itchy skin[213, 257].

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