The bark is employed as a tinder and is also made into a slow match. The crushed bark was twisted into a rope, tied at intervals with yucca (Yucca species), and wrapped into a coil. The free end was set on fire and kept smouldering by blowing on it at intervals. Fire could be carried in this fashion for several hours. The bark has been used as a thatching on the roofs of buildings. The dried seeds have been used as beads or as the 'rattle' in rattles. An infusion of the plant has been used as a hair wash. The plant has been burnt as an incense and fumigant in the home.Wood - soft, close-grained, slightly fragrant. It is used occasionally for fuel, fencing etc.
The leaves are antiseptic, blood tonic and laxative. A decoction is used in the treatment of constipation. A poultice of the leaves has been applied to the jaw to treat toothaches and sore and swollen gums. A decoction of the young twigs has been used in the treatment of stomach aches, kidney complaints, haemorrhages, coughs and colds. Fumes from the burning twigs have been inhaled in the treatment of headaches and colds. The branches have been used in a sweat bath to treat rheumatism. A strong decoction has been used as an antiseptic wash on sores. A poultice of the mashed twigs has been used as a dressing on burns and swellings. The seeds are analgesic. They have been eaten in the treatment of headaches.The fruits are analgesic, blood tonic and diuretic. A decoction has been used to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps, to induce urination and to treat kidney complaints, fevers, coughs and colds. Externally, a decoction has been used as a poultice on rheumatic joints.
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A slow-growing but long-lived tree, specimens several centuries old have been recorded. It grows better in dry areas with hot summers, western Britain is generally to cool and wet for this species to thrive. Good crops of fruit are produced in alternate years in the wild. Closely related to J. californica. This species is resistant to honey fungus. The seed takes 2 years to mature.Plants are usually dioecious, though occasional trees with both male and female flowers are sometimes found. Male and female plants must usually be grown if seed is required.
Problems, pests & diseases
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