Many benefits of the Prickly Ash herb have been recognized in the annals of both traditional Chinese medicine and native American medicine.
The prickly ash is a tall shrub that typically grows up to a height of twenty feet. Prickly ash is distinguished by its barbed stalks and branches. Its leaves are laden with fine hair-like materials when they are young but as they mature, they become smooth. The shrub bears green flowers that appear in bunches.
Traditional Chinese Medicine used prickly ash to warm the energies in the middle of the body, the area which regulates immune response and digestive capacities. Meanwhile, various Native American tribes along the eastern coast of North America looked to prickly ash as a reliable herb to fight disorders such as toothaches, stomach upsets, painful throats, throbbing muscles and skin infections.
The following are the active constituents of prickly ash: chelerythin alkaloids, tannins, lignans, resins and volatile oils.
Prickly ash tea can be made by infusing a teaspoon of chopped bark in boiled water and letting it steep for about 5 to 7 minutes. Prickly ash tea can also be combined with ginger and/or panax ginseng for alleviating chronic abdominal pain; with ginger to treat nausea and vomiting in long-term illnesses; and coptis or Oregon grape root for treating symptoms caused by roundworms.
Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that prickly ash should be avoided when there is fever with profuse sweating, and used with caution during pregnancy and nursing stages.
Below are some benefits ascribed to this herb tea:
- May help give relief to toothaches.
- Appears useful in killing intestinal parasites.
- Could relieve abdominal pain and other chronic pain.
- May assist in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism.
- Tea made from its seeds may reduce swelling.
- Can possibly aid in relieving diarrhea.