The ash tree is a member of the olive and lilac family. The tree can grow in many climates including North America, Europe and Asia. The medicinal part of the plant comes from the leaves, which are known to help with bladder, digestive, and kidney health. Additionally, it can also be used to help with fever and wound care.
The active ingredient is coumarin, which has been proven to have an analgesic and antioxidative effect. There are no known adverse reactions to ash. It can be taken as tea. The tea should be stored away from light.
The medicinal parts are the dried leaves, the fresh bark, the branch bark, and the fresh leaves.
Flower and Fruit
The flowers are in richly blossomed panicles, the terminal ones appearing on the new flowering branches. They are usually androgynous, occasionally male, polygamous, or dioecious. They have no calyx or corolla. The anthers of the male flowers are dark purple and are on short filaments. The female flowers consist of 1 inferior ovary with a 2-lobed stigma and 2 split staminoids. The fruit is a narrow lanceolate to oblong-obovate nutlet hanging on a thin stem. The fruit is 25 to 50 mm long and 7 to 10 mm wide, glossy brown, 1-seeded with a veined winged border.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
The ash is an impressive 15 to 30 m tall tree with a gray-brown, smooth, later fissured and wrinkled bark and large, black-brown, pubescent buds. The leaves are entire-margined, opposite, and odd pinnate. There are 9 to 15 leaflets. The leaflets are sessile, usually 5 to 11 cm long by 1 to 3 cm wide, oblong-ovate to lanceolate, long acuminate, finely and sharply serrate. They are glabrous above, rich green, loosely tomentose or almost glabrous, and greenish brown beneath.
The plant is distributed in most parts of Europe except the northern, southern and eastern edges.
Ash bark consists of the bark of young branches of Fraxinus excelsior. Ash leaf consists of the leaf of Fraxinus excelsior. The leaves are harvested in spring and air-dried.
Not to be Confused With
It may be confused with Ailanthus glandulosa.
Bird's Tongue, European Ash, Common Ash, Weeping Ash
Actions & Pharmacology
Compounds: Ash Leaf
Flavonoids: including rutin (0.1-0.9%)
Iridoide monoterpenes: including syringoxide, deoxy- syringoxidin
Compounds: Ash Bark
Hydroxycoumarins: aesculin, fraxin, aesculetin, fraxetin, fraxidin, isofraxidin, fraxinol, scopoletine
Iridoide monoterpenes: including 10-hydroxyligstroside
Effects: Ash Bark
The main active principle is coumarin. Preparations of fresh ash bark showed an analgesic, antioxidative, and antiphlogistic action. Cyclo AMP phosphodiesterase is inhibited and an antioxidative (radical trapping action) effect was proven for scopoletine, isofraxin, and fraxin.
Indications & Usage
Preparations of Ash leaf are used for arthritis, gout, bladder complaints, as well as a laxative and diuretic. In folk medicine Ash leaf is used internally for fever, rheumatism, gout, edema, stones, constipation, stomach symptoms, and worm infestation; and externally for lower leg ulcers and wounds.
Preparations of Ash bark are used for fever and as a tonic.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
Health risks or side effects following the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages are not recorded.
Mode of Administration
Since the efficacy for the claimed applications has not been documented, therapeutic application cannot be recommended. The efficacy of Ash in fixed combinations must be verified specifically for each preparation.
Tea: Soak 3 teaspoons of the drug in 2 glasses of hot water.
Tea: Several time a day.
Should be protected from light.