Prickly ash - Zanthoxylum clava-herculis (in the Rutaceae or Rue family)
Part used: Bark.
Taste/smell: Tingles the tongue, astringent.
Tendencies: Drying, warming.
Dosage: 1:3.5 dry liquid extract: 5-15 drops 1-3 times per day.
Mental picture and specific indications: Prickly ash is indicated in relaxed, feeble conditions found with atonic digestive states where it improves digestion and circulation. It is specific for neuralgic pains.
Use: (a) Alterative, (b) Diaphoretic, (c) Immunomodulator, (d) Antimicrobial, (e) Anti-inflammatory, (f) Restores vascular tone and promotes capillary circulation.
It is a good addition to formulas where a stimulating and tonifying alterative is needed for convalescence or the elderly. It is used for chronic rheumatic conditions, gastric irritation with gas and burping, loss of sensitivity in injured nerves and immune system support. Prickly ash contains the alkylamide, neoherculin, which is identical to the alkylamide, echinacein, found in Echinacea angustifolia.
Contraindications: It is contraindicated in pregnancy due to the emmenagogue effect.