Mountain Rose Herbs

Wildharvested & Kosher Certified

Prickly Ash Bark

  • Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
  • Origin: USA
Prickly Ash Bark


Common Name

Standardized: southern prickly ash
Other: Hercule's club

Botanical Name

Zanthoxylum clava-herculis L.
Plant Family: Rutaceae



About 1350, a book entitled the Ri Yong Ben Cao (Home Guide to Useful Medicines) first advised Chinese physicians of the medicinal benefits of prickly ash, also known as Szechuan pepper.

Before prickly ash was used medicinally, however, it was applied in the Imperial Court as the sole anesthetic for the operation by which the Emperor acquired his court eunuchs.


Volatile oil containing geraniol.

Parts Used

The bark or the fruit, dried and chopped. The powder is better for poultices than the chopped bark. The chopped bark is better for making teas and tinctures than the powdered bark.

Typical Preparations

Teas or tinctures. Prickly ash powder may be used as a poultice applied to the abdomen to treat abdominal pain (recommended over teas or tinctures for this purpose). Although rare, may also be taken as capsule.


Specific: Not for use in pregnancy except under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.