Ash tree: properties, characteristics of the plant and description of flowers, fruit and leaves. ffff
That of theFraxinusis a genus of dicotyledonous spermatophyte plants belonging to the Oleaceae family. The genus includes 60 species of trees or shrubs, all with deciduous leaves and all with an arboreal phanerophytic biological form (i.e. all species of ash are woody plants with arboreal bearing and buds placed at ground level). Among the tallest species we point out theFraxinus excelsior, a plant that can grow up to 30 - 40 meters.
Ash, medicinal plant
Among the species of greatest interest forbeneficial propertiesthere isfraxinus ornus. In Italy it is commonly calledmanna ashor tree of manna. This ash is often grown in a shrub form and shrunk to a bush. In nature, the ornus ash reaches a height of up to 8 meters.
Theash ornusis known asmedicinal plantand officinalis for hisproperty. It is also used for the production of timber.
The infusion of ash leaves harvested between late spring and early summer (and dried in the sun), is used for compresses for irritated skin: it has strong emollient properties.
The plant is popular for itspropertydiuretic, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, antiarthritic and laxative. The sap, commonly called "manna", is also of considerable interest.
Ash: leaves, flowers and fruit
Thefruit of the ash treeit is called samara. It is an indehiscent and monosperm dry fruit, with an expanded pericarp that forms a membranous structure called "wing". Thanks to its "wing", thefruitof theash treemanages to exploit the wind to spread its seed, the wing of the ash has an elongated shape.
The leaves are arranged in the opposite way, they are petiolate and without stipules. The imparipinnate leaves can have several segments (up to 15), in the case of manna ashthere are up to 9 segments (more often 7) of which the lateral ones measure 5 - 10 cm and are elliptical or lanceolate.
THEflowersthey are panicle-shaped, generally apical and axillary. The flowers are generally hermaphroditic and fragrant, show off a campanulate calyx with four lanceolate and unequal laciniae of a green-yellowish color. The corolla of theflowersit has white petals and slightly tinged with pink in the officinal ash to other species.
Theash ornusit has been a popular medicinal plant since ancient times for itspropertybeneficial. In Italy, the species of ash is particularly appreciated for its beneficial properties and for the production of manna "Fraxinus angustifolia ".
The already mentioned anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, antiarthritic, diuretic and laxative properties are due to the presence of compounds such as curmarine and flavonoids. Among the curmarines we include active ingredients such as ashinol, esculetin, fraxin and fraxetin. Among the flavonoids we report an abundant presence of quercetin, rutine and hydroxyphramoside. These compounds inhibit the production of endogenous inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandins.
Laxative properties are linked to the lymph: manna, in fact, is a natural laxative known for its therapeutic properties. Manna has emollient, sedative cough, decongestant, calming, fluidifying and expectorant properties. Thanks to its beneficial properties, manna has long been used as a natural remedy to calm chronic bronchitis and to counteract laryngitis and pharyngitis.
Thanks to its emollient properties, manna is widely used in cosmetics. It is considered a good remedy to make the skin smooth, soft and to reduce wrinkles.
Not onlytherapeutic propertiesand cosmetic virtues: themannait is also widely used in the kitchen, so much so that it has become an important garrisonSlow Food. Manna, a typical product of the Sicilian tradition, is widely used for the preparation of sweets and candies. For all information, please read the dedicated pageManna of the Madonie where we talk about the characteristics of theash treeof the speciesF.raxinus angustifolia.