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Ash (Fraxinus spp.)
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • Ash wood dust, flavonoids, Fraxini cortex, Fraxinus americana, Fraxinus elatior, Fraxinus excelsior, Fraxinus excelsior L., Fraxinus ornus L., hydroxycoumarins, Oleaceae (family), phenylethanoids, secoiridoid glucosides, white ash.
  • Combination product (examples): Phytodolor® (aspen, ash, goldenrod), Rebixiao granule (RBXG) (ash bark, Smilax glabra rhizome).
  • Note: This monograph does not include other unrelated species with the common name ash, such as Mountain ash (Sorbus spp.) or Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum spp.).

Background

  • Ash has been used since the time of the Native Americans and the early settlers of the Americas. The Native Americans supposedly showed the medicinal properties of nearly every portion of the tree to the settlers. Traditionally, ash has been used to treat external cancerous growths, itching, parasitic worms, and fever. It has also been used as an antiseptic, diuretic, aphrodisiac, and appetite stimulant.
  • Today, ash is still used for many conditions, including gouty arthritis, inflammation and pain. It may also be used as a general antimicrobial. It is commonly used in Europe in a variety of combination products. However, little human evidence exists, and only a few scientific studies have been carried out to support any of these claims.

Evidence

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Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

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Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.