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.
How it works
It is not known how northern prickly ash might work.
Not ProvenCrampsJoint painCirculation problemsLow blood pressureFeverSwellingToothacheSoresUlcersCancerUse as a tonicUse as a stimulantOther conditions
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.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Using northern prickly ash bark duringpregnancymight beUNSAFE. 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 arepregnant.Are there any interactions with medications?
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.
MinorMedications that decrease stomach acid (Proton pump inhibitors)
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.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).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).