With many healing herbs, there are similarities in their use with some being more powerful than others when used for the same complaints. So it is with prickly ash. Prickly Ash is best used in combination with other herbs. The berries of the Chinese variety of prickly ash are known as “brown peppercorns” or “Szechuan peppers” used in Szechuan cooking. American Indian tribes from the Northeast used prickly ash as an expectorant, cold remedy, toothache remedy and all-around panacea. Prickly Ash is an excellent herb to use for circulation as it has a mild central nervous system stimulating effect that improves circulation. It helps with leg cramping which is due to deficient blood and lymphatic circulation, and eases varicose veins. It is used externally and internally for rheumatism, stomach pain and even skin diseases. Because of its circulation enhancing qualities, it is used for joint problems and rheumatic complaints due to tissue accumulation of uric acid. It’s reported that the stimulatory action of prickly ash is slower than capsicum but has a longer lasting action and is more permanent. Prickly Ash can be applied as a poultice that will improve wounds, removing infected debris as it heals. It is also useful in paralysis of the tongue and mouth.

Prickly Ash Bark (Zanthoxylum americanum)

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  • Primary Uses: Here are a few of the ailments Prickly Ash Bark can provide relief for: • Circulation (poor) • Fevers • Mouth Sores • Ulcers/Wounds • Rheumatism • Paralysis (Tongue and mouth)

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