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Fragaria vesca

Botanical Name : Fragaria vesca
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Fragaria
Species: F. vesca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Fragaria vesca californica. (Cham.&Schldl.)Staudt.

Common Names: Wild strawberry, Woodland strawberry, Alpine strawberry, European strawberry, or Fraise des bois

Habitat: Fragaria vesca is native to South-western N. AmericaCalifornia. It grows in Shaded, fairly damp places in woodland.

Description:
Fragaria vesca is a perennial plant , growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. Five to eleven soft-hairy white flowers are borne on a green, soft-hairy 3–15 centimetres (1.2–5.9 in) stalk that usually lifts them above the leaves. The light-green leaves are trifoliate (in threes) with toothed margins. The plant spreads by means of runners (stolons)The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced. A vigorous plant, spreading rapidly by means of runners. It flowers freely with us, but has not set fruit on our Cornwall trial ground as yet, possibly because all our plants are one clone.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out during the summer. Division of runners, preferably done in July/August in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop. They can also be moved in the following spring if required, though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.
Edible Uses: Coffee; Tea.

Fruit – raw. Aromatic, sweet and succulent. The fruit can also be dried for later use. The fruit is about 15mm in diameter. The fresh or dried leaves are used to brew an excellent tea.
Medicinal Uses:

Antidiarrhoeal; Antirheumatic; Astringent; Diuretic; Laxative; Tonic.

America Indians and Europeans found multiple medicinal uses for this plant. The leaves are mildly astringent so that they can be used as a gargle to treat sore throats. The leaves as well as the fruit contain a diuretic.

The leaves are astringent. A decoction has been used in the treatment of dysentery.

Other Uses:
Cosmetic; Teeth.

Its leaves serve as significant food source for a variety of ungulates, such as mule deer and elk, and the fruit are eaten by a variety of mammals and birds that also help to distribute the seeds in their droppings.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fragaria+vesca
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragaria_vesca

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

 

  1. Other Names: Broken-heart syndrome, Transient apical ballooning syndrome, Apical ballooning cardiomyopathy,Stress-induced cardiomyopathy, Gebrochenes-Herz-Syndrom, and Stress cardiomyopathy.
    Definition:
    Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a type of non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy in which there is a sudden temporary weakening of the myocardium. Because this weakening can be triggered by emotional stress, It occurs as the response of the heart to sudden, intense emotional stress such as the death of a spouse; rejection at the workplace; acute fear; or uncontrolled anger. These intense emotions can cause immediate breathlessness or strokes. The broken heart can occur simultaneously or a few minutes later. Stress cardiomyopathy is a well-recognized cause of acute heart failure, lethal ventricular arrhythmias, and ventricular rupture.

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Around ten years ago, there were a few high profile deaths in young people. They were diagnosed as having died from a “broken heart”. Now, a broken heart or stunned myocardium syndrome is a documented condition.
Symptoms:
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or Broken heart syndrome symptoms can mimic a heart attack.The symptoms are similar to a heart attack – chest pain, sweating, giddiness or dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness and palpitations. Blood pressure may drop. Heart failure may develop.

Any long-lasting or persistent chest pain could be a sign of a heart attack, so it’s important to take it seriously and call your doctor if you experience chest pain.

Causes:
The exact cause of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is not very clear. It is thought that a surge of stress hormones, such as adrenaline, might temporarily damage the hearts of some people. How these hormones might hurt the heart or whether something else is responsible isn’t completely clear. A temporary constriction of the large or small arteries of the heart may play a role.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is often preceded by an intense physical or emotional event. Some potential triggers are:

*News of an unexpected death of a loved one
*A frightening medical diagnosis
*Domestic abuse
*Losing a lot of money
*Natural disasters
*A surprise party
*Having to perform publicly
*Job loss
*Divorce
*Physical stressors, such as an asthma attack, a car accident or major surgery

It’s also possible that some drugs, rarely, may cause broken heart syndrome by causing a surge of stress hormones. Drugs that may contribute to broken heart syndrome include:

*Epinephrine (EpiPen, EpiPen Jr), which is used to treat severe allergic reactions or a severe asthma attack
*Duloxetine (Cymbalta), a medication given to treat nerve problems in people with diabetes, or as a treatment for depression
*Venlafaxine (Effexor XR), which is a treatment for depression
*Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl), a drug given to people whose thyroid glands don’t work properly
Differances between Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and hear attack are:

Heart attacks are generally caused by a complete or near complete blockage of a heart artery. This blockage is due to a blood clot forming at the site of narrowing from fatty buildup (atherosclerosis) in the wall of the artery. In Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, the heart arteries are not blocked, although blood flow in the arteries of the heart may be reduced.
Diagnosis:
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or Transient apical ballooning syndrome is found in 1.7–2.2% of patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome. While the original case studies reported on individuals in Japan, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy has been noted more recently in the United States and Western Europe. It is likely that the syndrome went previously undiagnosed before it was described in detail in the Japanese literature.

The diagnosis of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy may be difficult upon presentation. The ECG findings are often confused with those found during an acute anterior wall myocardial infarction. It classically mimics ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, and is characterised by acute onset of transient ventricular apical wall motion abnormalities (ballooning) accompanied by chest pain, dyspnea, ST-segment elevation, T-wave inversion or QT-interval prolongation on ECG. Elevation of myocardial enzymes is moderate at worst and there is absence of significant coronary artery disease.

The diagnosis is made by the pathognomonic wall motion abnormalities, in which the base of the left ventricle is contracting normally or is hyperkinetic while the remainder of the left ventricle is akinetic or dyskinetic. This is accompanied by the lack of significant coronary artery disease that would explain the wall motion abnormalities. Although apical ballooning has been classically described as the angiographic manifestation of takotsubo, it has been shown that left ventricular dysfunction in this syndrome includes not only the classic apical ballooning, but also different angiographic morphologies such as mid-ventricular ballooning and rarely local ballooning of other segments.

The ballooning patterns were classified by Shimizu et al. as takotsubo type for apical akinesia and basal hyperkinesia, reverse takotsubo for basal akinesia and apical hyperkinesia, mid-ventricular type for mid-ventricular ballooning accompanied by basal and apical hyperkinesia and localised type for any other segmental left ventricular ballooning with clinical characteristics of takotsubo-like left ventricular dysfunction.

The ECG changes are atypical, with imprecise changes in the ST segment and T waves. They are “suspicious of but non conclusive” of myocardial infraction. Blood tests for the enzyme creatine kinase and proteins troponin should be done. These are elevated in a heart attack. In a stunned heart, these results too are inconclusive. The echocardiogram is the clincher. The heart is ballooned out. This change occurs typically at the apex of the heart. It is important to make a distinction between heart attack and takotsubo as the medication is different.

Treatment:
The treatment for takotsubo is mainly supportive. Medication is given to remove fluid from the lungs and prevent clots. Recovery occurs within a few days.

About two per cent of people who were thought to have a heart attack actually had broken hearts. In the case of women, this increases to seven per cent. Women, mainly menopausal ones (60-75 years), have “broken hearts” eight to nine times more often than men. Some people are genetically prone to “broken hearts.” Depression plays a role in susceptibility to this condition. Recurrences can occur in 10 per cent of people.

People who are in poor physical condition do not need severe emotional stress to suffer a broken heart. An episode may be precipitated by a minor event like rejection, or even a lecture or talk before an audience.

In order to never develop this condition; it is important to develop metal and physical toughness. Walking for 40-60 minutes a day at a brisk pace exposes the heart to small doses of adrenaline and nor adrenaline in a controlled manner. The heart gets conditioned and is immune to sudden chemical surges. Meditation and yoga provide calmness and the mental strength to cope with good days and bad.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takotsubo_cardiomyopathy
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/broken-heart-syndrome/basics/causes/con-20034635
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1141208/jsp/knowhow/story_2612.jsp

Quercus robur

Botanical Name : Quercus robur
Family: Fagaceae
Genus:     Quercus
Section: Quercus
Species: Q. rob
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Fagales

Synonym: Tanner’s Bark.

Common Names :Oak, English oak or pedunculate oak or French oak

Habitat :   Quercus robur is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, the Urals and Crimea. It grows often on the dominant woodland tree, especially on clay soils and in the eastern half of Britain, but avoiding acid peat and shallow limestone soils

Description:
Quercus robur is a large deciduous tree, with circumference of grand oaks from 4 m (13 ft) to exceptional 12 m (39 ft).[citation needed] Majesty Oak with the circumference of 12.2 m (40 ft) is the thickest tree in Great Britain,[citation needed] and Kaive Oak in Latvia with the circumference of 10.2 m (33 ft) is the thickest tree in Northern Europe.[citation needed] Q. robur has lobed and nearly sessile (very short-stalked) leaves 7–14 cm (2.8–5.5 in) long. Flowering takes place in mid spring, and their fruit, called acorns, ripen by the following autumn. The acorns are 2–2.5 cm (0.79–0.98 in) long, pedunculate (having a peduncle or acorn-stalk, 3–7 cm (1.2–2.8 in) long) with one to four acorns on each peduncle.

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It is a long-lived tree, with a large widespreading crown of rugged branches. While it may naturally live to an age of a few centuries, many of the oldest trees are pollarded or coppiced, both pruning techniques that extend the tree’s potential lifespan, if not its health. Two individuals of notable longevity are the Stelmuž? Oak in Lithuania and the Granit oak in Bulgaria, which are believed to be more than 1,500 years old, possibly making them the oldest oaks in Europe; another specimen, called the ‘Kongeegen’ (‘Kings Oak’), estimated to be about 1,200 years old, grows in Jaegerspris, Denmark.[citation needed] Yet another can be found in Kvilleken, Sweden, that is over 1,000 years old and 14 metres (46 ft) around.[2] Of maiden (not pollarded) specimens, one of the oldest is the great oak of Ivenack, Germany. Tree-ring research of this tree and other oaks nearby gives an estimated age of 700 to 800 years old. Also the Bowthorpe Oak in Lincolnshire, England is estimated to be 1,000 years old making it the oldest in the UK, although there is Knightwood Oak in the New Forest which is also said to be as old. Highest density of the Q. robur grand oaks with a circumference 4 metres (13 ft) and more is in Latvia.

Cultivation:
Prefers a good deep fertile loam which can be on the stiff side. Young plants tolerate reasonable levels of side shade. Succeeds in heavy clay soils and in wet soils so long as the ground is not water-logged for long periods. Dislikes dry or shallow soils but is otherwise drought tolerant once it is established. Tolerant of exposed sites though it dislikes salt-laden winds. The oak is a very important timber tree in Britain, it is also a very important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterfly, there are 284 insect species associated with this tree. It has often been coppiced or pollarded for its wood in the past, though this should not be done too frequently, about once every 50 years is the average. The tree flowers on new growth produced in spring, the seed ripening in its first year. Older trees have a thick corky bark and this can protect them from forest fires, young trees will often regenerate from the base if cut down or killed back by a fire. Intolerant of root disturbance, trees should be planted in their permanent positions whilst young. Hybridizes freely with other members of the genus. Immune to attacks by the tortix moth. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – it quickly loses viability if it is allowed to dry out. It can be stored moist and cool overwinter but is best sown as soon as it is ripe in an outdoor seed bed, though it must be protected from mice, squirrels etc. Small quantities of seed can be sown in deep pots in a cold frame. Plants produce a deep taproot and need to be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible, in fact seed sown in situ will produce the best trees. Trees should not be left in a nursery bed for more than 2 growing seasons without being moved or they will transplant very badly.

Edible Uses: Coffee; Gum.

Seed – cooked. Nourishing but indigestible. Chopped and roasted, the seed is used as an almond substitute[8]. It can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread. The seed contains bitter tannins, these can be leached out by thoroughly washing the seed in running water though many minerals will also be lost. Either the whole seed can be used or the seed can be dried and ground it into a powder. It can take several days or even weeks to properly leach whole seeds, one method was to wrap them in a cloth bag and place them in a stream. Leaching the powder is quicker. A simple taste test can tell when the tannin has been leached. The traditional method of preparing the seed was to bury it in boggy ground overwinter. The germinating seed was dug up in the spring when it would have lost most of its astringency. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. An edible gum is obtained from the bark. Another report says that an edible manna is obtained from the plant and that it is used instead of butter in cooking. This report probably refers to the gum.

Medicinal Uses:
The astringent effects of the Oak were well known to the Ancients, by whom different parts of the tree were used, but it is the bark which is now employed in medicine. Its action is slightly tonic, strongly astringent and antiseptic. It has a strong astringent bitter taste, and its qualities are extracted both by water and spirit. The odour is slightly aromatic.

Like other astringents, it has been recommended in agues and haemorrhages, and is a good substitute for Quinine in intermittent fever, especially when given with Chamomile flowers.

It is useful in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, either alone or in conjunction with aromatics. A decoction is made from 1 OZ. of bark in a quart of water, boiled down to a pint and taken in wineglassful doses. Externally, this decoction has been advantageously employed as a gargle in chronic sore throat with relaxed uvula, and also as a fomentation. It is also serviceable as an injection for leucorrhoea, and applied locally to bleeding gums and piles.

Other Uses:
Quercus robur’ is planted for forestry, and produces a long-lasting and durable heartwood, much in demand for interior and furniture work. The wood of Q. robur is identified by a close examination of a cross-section perpendicular to fibres. The wood is characterised by its distinct (often wide) dark and light brown growth rings. The earlywood displays a vast number of large vessels (~0.5 mm (0.020 in) diameter). There are rays of thin (~0.1 mm (0.0039 in)) yellow or light brown lines running across the growth rings. The timber is around 720 kg (1,590 lb) per cubic meter in density.

Within its native range Quercus robur is valued for its importance to insects and other wildlife. Numerous insects live on the leaves, buds, and in the acorns. Q.robur supports the highest biodiversity of insect herbivores of any British plant (>400 spp). The acorns form a valuable food resource for several small mammals and some birds, notably Eurasian Jays Garrulus glandarius. Jays were overwhelmingly the primary propagators of oaks before humans began planting them commercially, because of their habit of taking acorns from the umbra of its parent tree and burying it undamaged elsewhere. Mammals, notably squirrels who tend to hoard acorns and other nuts most often leave them too abused to grow in the action of moving or storing them.

Quercus robur is cultivated as an ornamental tree in the temperate regions of most continents. A number of cultivars are grown in gardens and parks and in arboreta and botanical gardens. The most common cultivar is Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’, and is the exception among Q. robur cultivars which are generally smaller than the standard tree, growing to between 10–15 m and exhibit unusual leaf or crown shape characteristics.

Known Hazards : Possible digestive complaints. May delay absorption of alkaloids and other alkaline drugs

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/o/oakcom01.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercus_robur

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Quercus+robur

Calluna

Botanical Name :Calluna vulgaris
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Calluna
Salisb.
Species: C. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
clade: Angiosperms
clade: Eudicots
clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales

Common Name:Common Heather, ling, or simply heather

Habitat :Calluna is found widely in Europe and Asia Minor on acidic soils in open sunny situations and in moderate shade. It is the dominant plant in most heathland and moorland in Europe, and in some bog vegetation and acidic pine and oak woodland. It is tolerant of grazing and regenerates following occasional burning, and is often managed in nature reserves and grouse moors by sheep or cattle grazing, and also by light burning.

Description:
It is a low-growing perennial shrub growing to 20 to 50 centimetres (7.9 to 20 in) tall, or rarely to 1 metre (39 in) and taller.Primary flower color  is red  that  blooms during late summer to fall. Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
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Cultivation:
Despised until the 19th century for its associations with the most rugged rural poverty, heather’s growth in popularity may be paralleled with the vogue for alpine plants. It is a very popular ornamental plant in gardens and for landscaping, in lime-free areas where it will thrive, but has defeated many a gardener on less acid soil. There are many named cultivars, selected for variation in flower colour and for different foliage colour and growing habits.

Different cultivars have flower colours ranging from white, through pink and a wide range of purples, and including reds. The flowering season with different cultivars extends from late July to November in the northern hemisphere. The flowers may turn brown but still remain on the plants over winter, and this can lead to interesting decorative effects.

Cultivars with ornamental foliage are usually selected for reddish and golden leaf colour. A few forms can be silvery grey. Many of the ornamental foliage forms change colour with the onset of winter weather, usually increasing in intensity of colour. Some forms are grown for distinctive young spring foliage.

The plant was introduced to New Zealand and has become an invasive weed in some areas, notably the Tongariro National Park on the North Island and the Wilderness Reserve (Te Anau) on the South Island, overgrowing native plants. Heather beetles have been released to stop the heather, with preliminary trials successful to date.

Cultivars include ‘Beoley Crimson’ (Crimson red), ‘Boskoop’ (light purple), ‘Cuprea’ (copper), ‘Firefly’ (deep mauve),‘Long White’ (white).

Medicinal Uses:
It was used in baths for easing joint and muscle pain, and taken for urinary infections and to ease sleep. An infusion of the dried flowers helped to decrease nervousness, sleeplessness and the pains of rheumatism.  It was also recommended as a bath for babies who were failing to thrive. Today, heather makes a useful urinary antiseptic when taken internally due to the arbutin it contains, and can be taken for cystitis, urethritis and prostatitis.  It has a mild diuretic action, reducing fluid retention and hastening elimination of toxins via the kidneys.  It makes a good cleansing remedy for gout and arthritis as well as skin problems such as acne.  It has a mildly sedative action and can easy anxiety, muscle tension and insomnia.  A hot poultice of heather tips is a traditional remedy for chilblains.

Other Uses:
Hummingbirds & Butterflies, Fragrant, Borders, Rock Gardens, Showy Flowers
Heather is an important food source for various sheep and deer which can graze the tips of the plants when snow covers low-growing vegetation. Willow Grouse and Red Grouse feed on the young shoots and seeds of this plant. Both adult and larva of the Heather Beetle Lochmaea suturalis feed on it, and can cause extensive mortality in some instances. The larvae of a number of Lepidoptera species also feed on the plant.

Formerly heather was used to dye wool yellow and to tan leather. With malt heather is an ingredient in gruit, a mixture of flavourings used in the brewing of heather-beer during the Middle Ages before the use of hops. Thomas Pennant wrote in A Tour in Scotland (1769) that on the Scottish island of Islay “ale is frequently made of the young tops of heath, mixing two thirds of that plant with one of malt, sometimes adding hops”. The use of heather in the brewing of modern heather beer is carefully regulated. By law[specify] the heather must be cleaned carefully before brewing, as the undersides of the leaves may contain a dusting of an ergot-like fungus, which is a hallucinogenic intoxicant.[citation needed]

Heather honey is a highly valued product in moorland and heathland areas, with many beehives being moved there in late summer. Not always as valued as it is today, and dismissed as mel improbum by Dioscurides. Heather honey has a characteristic strong taste, and an unusual texture, for it is thixotropic, being a jelly until stirred, when it becomes a syrup like other honey, but then sets again to a jelly. This makes the extraction of the honey from the comb difficult, and it is therefore often sold as comb honey.

White heather is regarded in Scotland as being lucky, a tradition brought from Balmoral to England by Queen Victoria. and sprigs of it are often sold as a charm and worked into bridal bouquets.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calluna
http://www.americanmeadows.com/heather-lady-in-red
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

http://www.types-of-flowers.org/heather.html

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Ash, Prickly (Xanthoxylum Americanum)

Botanical Name: Xanthoxylum Americanum (MILL.)

Family: N.O. Rutacea
Subfamily: Toddalioideae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms: Toothache Tree. Yellow Wood. Suterberry. Clava-herculis and americanum
Common NamesPrickly Ash Bark , Szechuan pepper, chuan jiao, Tooth Ache Tree, yellow wood,Hercules’ Club.
Parts Used: Root-bark, berries.

Habitat : Native to central and eastern portions of the United States and Canada.  Rare in the South, it is more common in the northern United States. It is listed as Endangered in Florida, Maryland, and New Hampshire; and as Special Concern in Tennessee. It can be found in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Washington, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia in the United States, and in Ontario and Quebec in Canada. It is found on upland rocky hillsides and on moist low-lying sites, in open woods, on bluffs or in thickets.

Taxonomy
Originally described by Scottish botanist Philip Miller in 1768, Zanthoxylum americanum is a member of the wide-ranging genus Zanthoxylum in the Rutaceae family, which includes many species with aromatic foliage. Miller, who spelled the name Xanthoxylum, described the plant in the eighth edition of his Gardeners Dictionary, as “grow[ing] naturally in Pensylvania [sic] and Maryland


Description:

It is  is an aromatic shrub or tree .It can grow to 10 meters (33 ft) tall with a diameter at breast height (DBH) of 15 centimeters (5.9 in). It produces membranous leaflets and axillary flower clusters. The wood is not commercially valuable, but oil extracts from the bark have been used in alternative medicine and have been studied for antifungal and cytotoxic properties

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES…>..(01)….…(1).…….(2).…..(3).…….(4).……(5)…..(6)..
The plant has membranous leaflets numbering between 5-11 and growing in opposite pairs. It has “axillary flower and fruit clusters”. The buds are hairy. Dark green leaves are bitter-aromatic, with crenate margins.  The berries begin red   and turn deep blue to black,   with stalked fruit pods.   Flowers are dioecious, with yellow-green petals.
Cultivation:
Prefers a good deep well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or semi-shade. A relatively fast-growing plant in the wild, it often forms thickets by means of root suckers. All parts of the plant are fragrant. The bruised foliage has a delicious resinous orange-like perfume. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Flowers are formed on the old wood[206]. Special Features:North American native, Attracts butterflies, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms, Blooms appear periodically throughout the year.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seed may requires up to 3 months cold stratification, though scarification may also help. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Germination should take place in late spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Seed – cooked. It is used as a condiment. A pepper substitute. The fruit is rather small, about 4 – 5m in diameter, but is produced in dense clusters which makes harvesting easy. Each fruit contains a single seed.

Constituents:
The barks of numerous species of Xanthoxylum and the allied genus Fagara have been used medicinally. There are two principal varieties of Prickly Ash in commerce: X. Americanum (Northern Prickly Ash) and Fagara Clava-Herculis (Southern Prickly Ashj, which is supposed to be more active. Although not absolutely identical, the two Prickly Ash barks are very similar in their active constituents. Both contain small amounts of volatile oil, fat, sugar, gum, acrid resin, a bitter alkaloid, believed to be Berberine and a colourless, tasteless, inert, crystalline body, Xanthoxylin, slightly different in the two barks. Both yield a large amount of Ash: 12 per cent. or more. The name Xanthoxylin is also applied to a resinous extractive prepared by pouring a tincture of the drug into water.

The fruits of both the species are used similarly to the barks. Their constituents have not been investigated, but they apparently agree in a general way with those of the bark.

The drug is practically never adulterated. The Northern bark occurs in commerce in curved or quilled fragments about 1/24 inch thick, externally brownish grey, with whitish patches, faintly furrowed, with some linearbased, two-edged spines about 1/4 inch long. The fracture is short, green in the outer, and yellow in the inner part. The Southern bark, which is more frequently sold, is 1/12 inch thick and has conical, corky spines, sometimes 4/5, inch in height.

Medicinal Uses:
Traditional
An oil extracted from the bark and berries of the prickly-ash (both this species and Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) is used medicinally. The extract may act as a stimulant, and historic medicinal use has included use “for chronic rheumatism, typhoid and skin diseases and impurity of the blood…” as well as for digestive ailments. Grieve states, “The berries are considered even more active than the bark, being carminative and antispasmodic, and are used as an aperient and for dyspepsia and indigestion; a fluid extract of the berries being given, in doses of 10 to 30 drops.” The bark has been chewed for toothaches, and a tea from the berries has been used for sore throats and as a diuretic.

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses prickly ash to warm the “middle burner,” the energies in the middle of the body that power the immune response and help digest food.

It acts as a stimulant – resembling guaiacum resin and mezereon bark in its remedial action and is greatly recommended in the United States for chronic rheumatism, typhoid and skin diseases and impurity of the blood, administered either in the form of fluid extract or in doses of 10 grains to 1/2 drachm in the powdered form, three times daily.

The following formula has also become popular in herbal medicine: Take 1/2 oz. each of Prickly Ash Bark, Guaiacum Raspings and Buckbean Herb, with 6 Cayenne Pods. Boil in 1 1/2 pint of water down to 1 pint . Dose: a wineglassful three or four times daily.

On account of the energetic stimulant properties of the bark, it produces when swallowed a sense of heat in the stomach, with more or less general arterial excitement and tendency to perspiration and is a useful tonic in debilitated conditions of the stomach and digestive organs, and is used in colic, cramp and colera, in fever, ague, lethargy, for cold hands and feet and complaints arising from a bad circulation.

A decoction made by boiling an ounce in 3 pints of water down to a quarter may be given in the quantity of a pint, in divided doses, during the twenty-four hours. As a counter-irritant, the decoction may be applied on compresses. It has also been used as an emmenagogue.

The powdered bark forms an excellent application to indolent ulcers and old wounds for cleansing, stimulating, drying up and healing the wounds. The pulverized bark is also used for paralytic affections and nervous headaches and as a topical irritant the bark, either in powdered form, or chewed, has been a very popular remedy for toothache in America, hence the origin of a common name of the tree in the States: Toothache Tree.

The berries are considered even more active than the bark, being carminative and antispasmodic, and are used as an aperient and for dyspepsia and indigestion; a fluid extract of the berries being given, in doses of 10 to 30 drops.

Xanthoxylin. Dose, 1 to 2 grains.

Both berries and bark are used to make a good bitter.


Modern studies

There have been some modern studies of the oil’s constituents and antifungal properties  and cytotoxic effects.

Other Uses: Landscape Uses:Border, Massing. The fruits have been used by young men as a perfume. Wood – soft. It weighs 35lb per cubic foot. Of little use.

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Known Hazaards:  Tannins may reduce gut iron absorption. Possble nervous system stimulation. Excessive ingestion may interfere with anticoagulant therapy

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail403.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanthoxylum_americanum
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/ashpr077.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zanthoxylum+americanum