All parts of the plant, but especially the bark and roots, contain the aromatic bitter oil xanthoxylin. This has a number of applications in medicine. The fruit has a similar medicinal action to the bark. The bark and roots are irritant, odontalgic and antirheumatic. Along with the fruit they are diaphoretic, stimulant and a useful tonic in debilitated conditions of the stomach and digestive organs. They produce arterial excitement and are of use in the treatment of fevers, ague, poor circulation etc. The fruits are considered more active than the bark, they are also antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic and antirheumatic. The pulverized root and bark are used to ease the pain of toothache. One report says that it is very efficacious, but the sensation of the acrid bark is fully as unpleasant as the toothache. Chewing the bark induces copious salivation. Rubbing the fruit against the skin, especially on the lips or in the mouth, produces a temporary loss of sensation[K]. A tea or tincture of the bark has been used in the treatment of rheumatism, dyspepsia, dysentery, heart and kidney troubles etc.A tea made from the inner bark has been used to treat itchy skin.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage.Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions.
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Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. The leaves are often persistent until the following spring when the new leaves are produced. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.Flowers are formed on the old wood.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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