Northern Prickly Ash

What other names is Northern Prickly Ash known by?

Angelica Tree, Clavalier, Clavalier d'Amérique, Clavalier à Feuilles de Frêne, Clavalier Frêne, Frêne Épineux, Frêne Épineux du Nord, Fresno Espinoso Americano, Pepper Wood, Prickly Ash, Toothache Bark, Xanthoxylum, Yellow Wood, Zanthoxylum, Zanthoxylum americanum.

What is Northern Prickly Ash?

Northern prickly ash is a plant. The bark and berry are used to make medicine. Be careful not to confuse northern prickly ash with ash or southern prickly ash.

People take northern prickly ash for blood circulation problems and resulting conditions including leg pain (intermittent claudication) and Raynaud's syndrome. It is also used for joint pain, cramps, low blood pressure, fever, swelling (inflammation), toothache, sores, ulcers, and cancer (as an ingredient in Hoxsey cure).

Some people use northern prickly ash as a tonic, as a stimulant, and for "sweating out a fever."

In manufacturing, northern prickly ash is used as a flavoring in foods and beverages.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Cramps.
  • Joint pain.
  • Circulation problems.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Fever.
  • Swelling.
  • Toothache.
  • Sores.
  • Ulcers.
  • Cancer.
  • Use as a tonic.
  • Use as a stimulant.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of northern prickly ash for these uses.

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How does Northern Prickly Ash work?

It is not known how northern prickly ash might work.

Are there safety concerns?

Northern prickly ash bark might be safe for most people, but the potential side effects are not known.

There isn't enough information to know if the northern prickly ash berry is safe to use as medicine or what the potential side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Using northern prickly ash bark during pregnancy might be UNSAFE. Not enough is known about the safety of using northern prickly ash berry during pregnancy. It's best to avoid using both forms of northern prickly ash if you are pregnant.

It's also wise to avoid northern prickly ash if you are breast-feeding. Not enough is known about its possible effects on nursing babies.

Stomach or intestinal problems including ulcers, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, infections, or other digestive tract conditions: Northern prickly ash can stimulate digestive juices and cause irritation. This can make stomach and intestinal problems worse. Do not use northern prickly ash if you have any of these conditions.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Antacids
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Antacids are used to decrease stomach acid. Northern prickly ash may increase stomach acid. By increasing stomach acid, northern prickly ash might decrease the effectiveness of antacids.

Some antacids include calcium carbonate (Tums, others), dihydroxyaluminum sodium carbonate (Rolaids, others), magaldrate (Riopan), magnesium sulfate (Bilagog), aluminum hydroxide (Amphojel), and others.



Medications that decrease stomach acid (H2-blockers)
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Northern prickly ash might increase stomach acid. By increasing stomach acid, northern prickly ash might decrease the effectiveness of some medications that decrease stomach acid, called H2-blockers.

Some medications that decrease stomach acid include cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), nizatidine (Axid), and famotidine (Pepcid).



Medications that decrease stomach acid (Proton pump inhibitors)
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Northern prickly ash might increase stomach acid. By increasing stomach acid, northern prickly ash might decrease the effectiveness of medications that are used to decrease stomach acid, called proton pump inhibitors.

Some medications that decrease stomach acid include omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), pantoprazole (Protonix), and esomeprazole (Nexium).

Dosing considerations for Northern Prickly Ash.

The appropriate dose of northern prickly ash depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for northern prickly ash. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011