- A Modern Herbal, by Mrs. M. Grieve Home Page
Fringe Tree
Fringe Tree
(Chionanthus virginicus LINN.)

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Fringe Tree

Botanical: Chionanthus virginica (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Oleaceae

---Synonyms---Old Man's Beard. Fringe Tree Bark. Chionathus. Snowdrop Tree. Poison Ash.
---Part Used---The dried bark of the root.
---Habitat---The United States, from Pennsylvania to Tennessee.

---Description---A small tree, bearing in June white flowers like snowdrops, and with large leaves like those of Magnolia, it presents a charming appearance. The root-bark is found in single, transversely-curved pieces, often heavy enough (though small) to sink in water. The outside is reddish or greyish-brown, with root scars and whiter patches. The inner surface is a yellowishbrown. The fracture is short, coarsely granular, and yellowish-white. It is almost odourless, but very bitter in taste. The powder is light brown in colour.

---Constituents---It is said that both saponin and a glucoside have been found, but neither appears to have been officially confirmed.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Aperient, diuretic. Some authorities regard it as tonic and slightly narcotic. It is used in typhoid, intermittent, or bilious fevers, and externally, as a poultice, for inflammations or wounds. Is useful in liver complaints.

---Dosage---Of fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm two or three times a day. Of infusion, 1/2 to 2 fluid ounces two or three times a day. Chiomanthin, 1 to 3 grains.

Common Name Index

Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.

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