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.

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.).

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Arthritis (gouty) (Grade: C)
Ash has been historically noted for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, but there is little scientific evidence currently available to support these uses.