Rutaceae – Rutaceae.

Parts used: grass and roots.

Pharmacy name: ash grass – Dictamni heiba (formerly: Herba Dictamni), ash roots – Dictamni radix (formerly: Radix Dictamni).

Botanical description.Perennial plant, up to 1 m in height. It has a highly branched root system, from which numerous erect, pubescent stems grow, covered in the upper part with black dots-glands. The leaves are pinnate, alternate, due to numerous oil glands look punctured in the light. Lovely white or pinkish flowers are collected in loose brushes. Sometimes they are purple-red with dark veins. The flowers smell strongly of lemon and contain so much essential oil that they can flare up on warm and stuffy summer nights without harming the plant. This also applies to leaves. Blooms in June-July. Occurs in southern Germany in sunny, dry places, in light shrubs and clearings of deciduous forests, only occasionally in dense forests. But most often he is found as a “fugitive” from the garden.

Collection and preparation. It is most advisable to collect the upper parts of the shoots from plants grown in the garden and dry them in bunches in the shade. The roots are dug up, like almost all roots and rhizomes, either in early spring or late autumn. Thick roots will need to be split before drying in the shade.

Active ingredients: alkaloids, essential oil, bergapten, saponins, bitters, anthocyanins and flavong lycosides. Healing action and application. It is believed that ash regulates menstruation, serves as a diuretic and eliminates bloating. But it is difficult to say for sure, which is why this medicinal plant is not used by scientific medicine.

Use in homeopathy. Homeopathic remedy Dictamnus albus is prepared from fresh leaves, which are harvested shortly before flowering. It is given in gastro-intestinal troubles with flatulence and foul-smelling stools, but mainly in irregular menstruation, in dilutions from D 1 to D 6. Daily dosage: from 2 times to multiple doses of 5-15 drops.

Application in folk medicine. The decoction of the root acts as a fixing agent for patients with “indigestion”, as an anthelmintic and as a “female remedy”. However, it should be noted that ash tree is prescribed extremely rarely.

Side effects are unknown, but they cannot be excluded: the bergapten contained in the ash tree increases the susceptibility to light.

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