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What are the Uses and Health Benefits of White Ash (Fraxinus Americana)?

White Ash, Fraxinus Americana

White ash is also known as Biltmore ash and is most useful and common ash in its early age, it is oval which becomes rounded as it matures. It has airy, large leaves which cast a beautiful and pleasant shade in summer. This tree is resistant to heat, although it is usually native to moist locations which include well-drained sites and river bottoms. White ash tree produces a good set of seeds every 2-3 years. This tree usually grows in exposure to the sun and develops to have yellow color or depends upon the environmental conditions.

General Description of the White ash Tree

It is a large deciduous tree which grows up to 60-70 feet tall. It prefers moist, fertile and deep soil for the growth. Leaves are 8-15 inches long and have 5-9 leaflets that are ovate in shape with acuminate leaf tips. These are of dark green color above and bit lighter below. Flowers of White ash are small, purple, black and green in color. Flowers bloom from mid-march to late April. This tree produces a large number of fruits. Its fruit is called Samaras which contains only one seed. They are paddle-shaped and changes color as they mature from green to tan. White ash bark is diamond shaped and furrowed. Bark has ridges over it.

How White Ash Tree is Scientifically Classified?

  • Domain - Eukaryota
  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Phylum - Spermatophyta
  • Subphylum - Angiospermae
  • Class - Dicotyledonae
  • Order - Oleales
  • Family - Oleaceae
  • Genus - Fraxinus
  • Species - Fraxinus americana

Where is White Ash Tree Distributed?

This tree is native to eastern North America. It is also found in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, in the east to northern Florida and in the west to Eastern Texas.

What are the Various Medicinal uses of White Ash Bark?

  • This herb has an astringent action, i.e. it causes contraction of skin cells and other body tissues.
  • White ash bark treats the problem of scanty menstruation as it increases or stimulates menstrual flow.
  • It is used to wash or treat skin sores, itches or the vermin on the scalp.
  • This herb has a diaphoretic action, i.e. it induces or increases sweating.
  • White ash bark increases quantity and frequency of the urination which aids cleansing of the body and healthier kidneys. This action also helps to relieve water retention.
  • It induces vomiting which is given in case anyone has taken poison or any other harmful substance.
  • Constipation can be treated with the help of White ash bark as it has a strong laxative action. It also helps to treat jaundice. This herb treats biliousness and constipation caused due to jaundice.
  • This herb is used to remove bile from the intestines if given in a tea form.
  • White ash bark is used to relieve stomach cramps and fever after childbirth and improves the overall health of the mother.
  • It can be applied to the body in decoction or paste form to relieve soreness and inflammation
  • Itching caused by bee stings or mosquito bites can be relieved by its use.
  • In homeopathy, it is widely used to treat enlargement of the uterus and other ailments of the uterus like sub involution, fibrous growth and prolapsed. Homeopathic medicine made from White ash bark treats uterine tumors along with bearing-down sensation.
  • This herb treats dropsy arise due to the obstruction of liver and obesity if taken every morning regularly.
  • White ash bark has stone dissolving abilities.
  • It acts upon gall-duct and increases or stimulates the flow of bile. It also aids elimination of the bile from gall cysts and the tubuli of the liver. White ash bark also treats skin affections caused due to insufficient elimination of bile.
  • This herb helps to treat blackened, dry, brittle and enlarged spleen.
  • It is known to destroy all the snake poison and treat snake bites.

What can be the Non-Medicinal uses of White Ash Bark?

  • White ash bark is considered to be a good tree to plant in parks and open campuses.
  • It is used for making tool handles due to its properties like strength, and hardness.
  • This is also used in making doors, furniture, antique vehicle parts, railroad cars, snowshoes, boats and fuel.
  • Animals like cattle and white-tailed deer eat the bark of young White ash trees.
  • White ash tree has the tendency to form a trunk through its bark so it can be an excellent nester for wood ducks, owls, gray squirrels, and nuthatches.

What can be the Side-Effects of White Ash Bark?

  • It should be not used during pregnancy as it has an action to stimulate or cause bleeding which can lead to miscarriage.
  • During breastfeeding, it should only be used under the guidance of a physician.
  • People having any stomach or intestinal disorder should not use it as it can worsen the condition because of its strong laxative and emetic action.

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