Ash: Uses, herbal medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Ash: Uses, herbal medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Ash is native to Europe and southwest Asia, with the tree also being commonly grown as a garden and park tree. Most of the material used for medical purposes comes from wild collections.

Ash in herbal medicine

In herbal medicine, the dried leaves of the ash tree (Fraxini folium) and the bark of young twigs (Fraxini cortex) are used. Manna ash (Fraxinus ornus) produces what is known as manna (manna cannelata), a dried, sugary sap that oozes from the bark after the tree is injured in warm, dry weather.


Ash: Typical characteristics

The ash is a deciduous tree up to 40 m tall with large, opposite, pinnate leaves. The inconspicuous flowers appear before the leaves in spring. The tree bears oblong, winged fruits and nuts about 3-4 cm long. These are usually arranged in dense clusters.

Ash leaves as medicine.

The leaf material used medicinally consists of brittle fragments of the pinnate leaves, with the leaf veins visible on the underside. The primary nerve is sparsely hairy, and the leaf margin is serrated. Furthermore, the up to 2 mm thick, light brown leaf spindles are part of the drug material.

The smell of ash leaves is relatively weak and peculiar. Ash leaves have a bitter taste.

Ash: how to use it?

Ash leaves and ash bark are only used in folk medicine. Since the effectiveness has yet to be sufficiently scientifically proven, the plant was rated negatively by Commission E.

Because there are no risks and ash has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects in animal experiments, use in combination with other plants that have been positively evaluated is justifiable. From the point of view of empirical medicine, the negative assessment by Commission E is not justified.


Use as a laxative.

Manna obtained from Fraxinus ornus was positively assessed by Commission E and is considered a laxative. The application is suitable, for example, before operations or for haemorrhoids.

Ash in folk medicine

In folk medicine, ash bark is used as a strengthening agent (tonic), especially for treating fever and rheumatism. The tree leaves are also used for rheumatism and fever and for mild joint pain, gout, bladder problems and constipation. Nowadays, ash leaves are also used to support weight loss diets.

Externally, ash leaves and bark can treat wounds and ulcers.


Homeopathic use of ash

In homoeopathy, the bark and roots of another species of ash, the white ash (Fraxinus americana), are mainly used. The plant is used primarily for functional and growth disorders of the uterine tissue, such as the prolapsed uterus (prolapsing uteri), benign and malignant uterine tumours and bleeding.

Like other medicinal plants, ash bark is also generally used in homoeopathy as a strengthening agent (tonic) for gynaecological disorders.

ingredients of the ash

Ash leaves, and bark contain tannins, flavonoids such as rutin, very bitter-tasting secoiridoid glucosides, phenolic carboxylic acids and triterpenes. The bark is particularly rich in coumarins. Manna consists of 70-90% of the sugar D-mannitol.

Ash: indication

Ash is only used in folk medicine for:

  • Fever
  • rheumatism
  • gout
  • joint pain
  • bladder problems
  • constipation
  • wounds
  • ulcers
  • Manna: as a purgative

Ash – dosage

Homoeopathic ash preparations are commercially available almost exclusively. These can be taken as drops or tablets, for example. There are no tea preparations on the market.

Ash – what dosage?

It is difficult to indicate the average daily dose since ash leaves and bark are hardly used in modern herbal medicine. The average daily dose for the more commonly used manna is 20-30 g for adults and 2-16 g for children.


Ash: no preparation as a tea

Ash leaves and ash bark are not usually used in the form of tea.

Advice on contraindications and storage

  • There are no known side effects, interactions with other agents, or contraindications for taking ash leaves.
  • The drug should be stored dry and protected from light.

Ash – synonyms

German plant name: Lures

German synonyms of the plant: Common ash, common ash, common ash, stone ash, noble ash, ash, geis tree, Oesch, wound tree

Latin plant name: The higher ash L.

German drug name: Ash Leaves, Ash Bark

Latin drug name: Ash leaf, Ash bark

English name: Ash leaf (Droge); Ash, Common ash, European ash, Weeping ash, Fraxinus excelsior

Plant family Latin: Oleaceae

Plant family German: Oleaceae


Ash – effect

It could be shown that isolated ash iridoids and coumarins inhibit the formation of various mediators of inflammatory reactions (prostaglandins, leukotrienes). This inhibition could explain the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of the leaves and bark.

The laxative effect of manna is due to the mannitol it contains: the osmotic sugar increases the water content in the stool.

Ash: No side effects

There are no known side effects, interactions with other agents, or contraindications for taking ash leaves.



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