Fringe Tree – Chionanthus virginicus
- Created: 31 July 2014
Family - Oleaceae
Other Names: Old Mans Beard, Snowdrop Tree and Poison Ash
Commonly used by the native Americans and European settlers to treat eye inflammations, mouth ulcers and spongy gums. The Choctaw applied the mashed bark for cuts and bruises. In the 19th century Physiomedicalists used it as a bitter tonic and was used to help recover from long term illnesses.
The root bark and bark are unearthed in spring and autumn. The bark is washed carefully and peeled. Fringe Tree needs to be dried with care.
Native to USA, this tree grows from Pennsylvania South to Florida and Texas. It is now found in Eastern Asia and it thrives on riverbanks and damp shrubby areas.
Deciduous shrub or tree that grows to 10m. It has elliptical dark green leaves and long flowering stems with spikes of white flowers. It produces dark blue oval fruits.
The root bark is a great liver tonic, it stimulates bile flow and also acts as a mild laxative. It is prescribed mainly for gallbladder pain, gallstones, jaundice and chronic weakness.
It is specific for the treatment of the Gall-bladder, especially in cases of gall stones and gall bladder inflammation. It is known that through it’s action in stimulating bile that it acts as a mild laxative.
Anecdotal evidence has shown that is substantially reduces sugar levels in the urine.
Fringe Tree also will stimulate digestion and appetite and is effective for all types of chronic illness where the liver has been affected.
It has been used in typhoid, intermittent or bilious fevers.
The bark can be used externally by crushing it and making a poultice for treating sores and wounds.