White ash – white ash

A deciduous, up to 8(15) m tall tree of the olive family. The bark is gray, olive or brownish-olive on young branches. The leaves are opposite, odd-pinnate, 20-25 cm long; leaves (5-9 of them) ovate, ovate-elongate, elliptic or lanceolate, shortly pointed or rounded at the top, toothed or notched-toothed, on petioles or sessile. Flowers unisexual, dioecious or heterosexual (bisexual and male), with a double perianth, collected in upright, only during flowering in hanging bunches; petals (4 of them, rarely 2) are pale yellow, linear, sharp, slightly fused together at the base. The fruit is a linear or lanceolate lionfish. Blooms in April – May.

Distribution . White-flowered ash grows wild in Southern Europe and Asia Minor. In the southern regions of Ukraine, it is cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Procurement and storage . For medical purposes, bark (Cortex Orni) and the so-called manna (Manna cannulata) are used, which is air-dried juice from cuts on the bark. The bark is collected in the spring from young branches (see the article Common oak for harvesting and drying rules). 30% of dry bark is obtained. Manna is harvested in July – September: in dry, sunny weather, the bark is cut to the very wood, thin twigs are inserted into the cuts, near which the juice hardens and is easily removed. The finished raw materials are stored in well and tightly closed jars or cans (this is especially true of semolina). In many foreign countries, the plant is official; on the territory of the former USSR — unofficial.

Chemical composition . Ash bark contains coumarin derivatives: esculin, esculetin, fraxin, fraxinol; bitterness, fraxinin, tannins, flavone glycoside quercitrin, organic acids, mannitol, resins, gums and other compounds. In semolina there is from 40 to 80% of mannitol, fructose, glucose, mucous substances, resins, fraxin, citric acid, etc.

Pharmacological properties and use . Infusion of ash bark has astringent properties and is used in folk medicine for diarrhea and dysentery, and externally for compresses on varicose veins. Semolina is used in medicine as a mild laxative and is especially suitable for children (no side effects, pleasant taste). The weakening effect of semolina is caused mainly by mannitol, which acts as an osmotic diuretic: it increases the osmotic index of the contents of the small intestine and thereby eliminates the possibility of liquid absorption. At the same time, thanks to the increase in content, the intensity of peristalsis of the large intestine increases.

Medicinal forms and applications .

Internally – infusion of the bark (2-3 tablespoons of raw materials are poured with two glasses of boiling water, infused, stirring, until cooled, strained) a quarter of a glass 4 times a day;

5-10 g of semolina is prescribed for children, 10-30 g for adults, taken with water, milk or syrup.

Externally – bark infusion (prepared as in the previous recipe) for compresses.

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