The Daily Dose: Old Man’s Beard

Scientific Name: (Chionanthus virginica, Olive Family)

Common Name:    Fringe Tree, Poison Ash

Medicinal Part:   Bark of the Root

Description: This is a shrub or small tree, growing from 8 to 25 feet high.  The leaves are opposite, oval, oblong, veiny and smooth; flowers are in dense panicles; calyx very small; corolla snow-white, consisting of four petals and fruit a fleshy, oval, purple drupe.

The plant is very ornamental and is much cultivated in gardens from Pennsylvania to Tennessee.  It grows on river banks and on elevated places, presenting clusters of snow-white flowers in May and June.  The bark of the root which imparts its properties in water or alcohol is the part used.

Properties and Uses: The bark is aperient (relieves constipation) and diuretic.  By some it is regarded as a tonic with much virtue.  It can be used to advantage as a poultice for wounds and external irritations.

Dose and Preparation: A teaspoonful of the bark of the root cut small or granulated to a cup of boiling water.  Drink cold, one cupful during the day, a large mouthful at a time; of the tincture, 5 to 20 min.