Prickly Ash Herbal

Prickly Ash

Zanthoxylum clava-herculis


PROPERTIES: Sudorific, Carminative, Rubefacient

SYSTEMS AFFECTED: Cardiovascular, Skeletal (joints), Digestive

POSSIBLE USES: arthritis, circulation problems, cold hands and feet, Raynaud’s disease, diarrhea


Prickly Ash is considered by some to be somewhat like Cayenne and is used when Cayenne causes upset to the stomach. Prickly Ash is, however, a valuable herb in its own right. The bark of Prickly Ash was listed in the Pharmacopeia of the United States from 1820 to 1926.

Prickly Ash is a remedy for arthritic and other joint problems because it stimulates blood flow to painful and stiff joints, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the area and removing waste products from those joints.

An important use of Prickly Ash is the improvement of circulation in diseases such as Raynaud’s and any condition in which the arteries of the extremities have narrowed and are preventing sufficient blood from reaching the hands, or the legs and the leg muscles.

Prickly Ash relieves gas and diarrhea and tones the digestive system. It can be applied topically, usually with other herbs, to treat leg ulcers. This herb is also used for pelvic inflammatory disease.

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