Can trees help my toothache?

Sure, there is a tree nicknamed the toothache tree…Zanthoxylum americanum. The tree is 10-20 feet tall and some consider it a tall shrub because of its multiple trunks. It is also called prickly ash for its leaves, which are similar to ash tree. The bark is quite spiney too. But, it is closely related to orange, lemon and grapefruit trees rather than the ash tree. The tree is native to eastern North America. Native Americans used to bite into the berry or chew on the bark. This would release  a volatile oil,which contained an alkaloid believed to be berberine. The oil and the alkaloid creates a numbing sensation in the mouth which would ease the pain from a toothache. Later in the 19th century herbal doctors would continue to use it. It actually does numb the mouth if you dare. Nature  can be fascinating!!

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