Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum) is native to North America, where the bark of this plant has been used as medicine for hundreds of years. The genus name, Zanthoxylum, is thought to originate from the Greek words, zanthos, and xylum, meaning “golden wood”. Historically, many Native American tribes have used Prickly Ash as medicinal with many health benefits. Prickly Ash contains many important compounds for the body such as alkaloids, flavonoids, and other plant compounds. Many of these act as antioxidants, helping to protect your body by fighting free radicals, which are the cause of many health-threatening illnesses.
1. Top 3 Prickly Ash benefits
1.1 Prickly Ash benefits: Relieve pain and inflammation
✅ Research shows that this plant may actually have analgesic effects by suppressing pain associated with inflammation. In particular, this supplement may support conditions like osteoarthritis. Rheumatism (including many types of arthritis) is any disease that involves pain and swelling or inflammation of joints, ligaments, and muscles. Prickly ash is thought to help improve rheumatism and reduce joint pain by improving the provision of peripheral (local) blood flow carrying the nutrients needed to promote healthy joints, especially when having congested lymph that needs circulation to promote optimal inflammation, repair cartilage tissue, and regenerate joint and disc damage.
✅ A 7-day study gave mice with Zanthoxylum arthritis mice 45.5 mg per pound (100 mg per kg) of body weight. They reduced swelling and inflammation in the feet, as well as significantly lower white blood cell counts, suggesting that the mice ‘bodies no longer had to work hard to combat pain.
1.2 Prickly Ash benefits: Good for the digestive system
✅ Prickly Ash can help treat many digestive conditions, including diarrhea, gastritis, and stomach ulcers. A mouse study noted that extracts of both Zantoxylum and fruit peel significantly reduced the severity and frequency of diarrhea. In another study, mice with chronic gastritis – inflammation of the lining of the stomach – were extracted from Prickly Ash’s trunk and roots, both of which helped to support this condition. However, human studies are still lacking.
1.3 Prickly Ash benefits: Antibacterial and antifungal
✅ Prickly ash can have some antibacterial and antifungal effects. In a test-tube study, Zanthoxylum essential oil was found to inhibit seven bacterial strains. The researchers concluded that the extracts had strong antimicrobial properties against certain pathogens and organisms known to spoil food. Another test-tube study noted that different parts of the tree, including the leaves, berries, stems, and bark, showed antifungal properties against 11 fungal strains, including Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus – with fruit and leaf extract the most effective.
2. Notes when using Prickly Ash
- When consumed in moderate amounts, Prickly ash is unlikely to cause side effects. Although research in mice shows that particularly high doses can lead to diarrhea, drowsiness, heart rhythm disturbances, neuromuscular effects, and even death, it will take nearly 3,000% of consumption. Therefore, the researchers concluded that extracts from the Zanthoxyloide species commonly used as supplements are relatively safe.
- Do not use prickly ash for pregnant women (it can stimulate menstruation, cause miscarriage), nursing mothers, people taking blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), heart disease, and increased blood pressure.
- The use of prickly ash should be avoided for people with certain digestive disorders, due to its digestive stimulating effects, increasing stomach acid, aggravating gastric ulcer.
Recommended for you
🎁 Herb Pharm Prickly Ash Liquid Extract
✅ Herb Pharm prepares their Prickly Ash Extract from the bark of Zanthoxylum Clava-Hercules trees which are Sustainably Wildcrafted in their native habitat. To assure optimal extraction of Prickly Ash’s bioactive compounds, the bark is hand-harvested only in the autumn, is carefully shade-dried, and is then thoroughly extracted. Directions: Shake well before using. Two to four times per day take 30 to 40 drops in a little water. Caution: Seek expert medical advice before taking during pregnancy.