The above photo is an interesting depiction of a San Francisco Chinese herb shop and dispensary. It is human nature to over-value exotic herbs when in reality, our most potent and useful medicinal plants are growing right in our own country. They are fresher, cheaper and just as potent. Scarceness is too often how we gauge desirability! Western herbal traditions are often treated as the poor cousin to the the Eastern Chinese protocols. Do this at your own peril!
One plant that has been over-looked in this regard is what we Midwesterners call a hedge tree. I have long adored this unique American Midwestern tree, Osage Orange ((Maclura pomifera. It is my sacred tree. I have many of these trees growing naturally on my farm. It never appears to die. It is unaffected by insect pests, fungi, viral, or bacterial blights. Its dead wood never decays in the short term. Fence posts can easily last 50 years out in the open. This tree contains an anti-microbial essence unique and long lasting! It is very similar to the olive tree in this regard, and we all know how medicinal the olive tree has been throughout history! I would like to suggest to you that America's Osage Orange tree is no less spectacular in its healing properties-not to be overlooked in systemic fungal or other anti-microbial syndromes. It is North America's answer to the South American Lapacho or Pau d'Arco tree.
Modern researchers are scrutinizing many of the compounds in the Osage Orange. One of the active compounds is Tetrahydroxystilbene (THS) which shows significant anti-fungal activity and probably is the one we are most interested in. It is also known as a Resveratrol analog. That name should ring a bell with most of you! Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxy-trans-stibene), a phytoalexin present in grapes, peanuts and pines has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. The TV show, 60 Minutes did a piece on this exciting new compound as featured in wines a few years ago and set off the craze. There has been quite a bit of research done on Tetrahydroxystilbene as a tumor inhibitor. Here we find this wonderful substance in the Osage Orange and at much higher levels than can be found in red wine!
However, it should be noted that no one herb or tree is simply one isolated compound! An herb is a sum of its many parts and the Osage Orange tree should be considered in that light. You can take out of it tetrahydroxystilbene but there are far too many other synergistic compounds to only religate this tree to just a tetrahydroxystilbene source. It was found in a study below that tetrahydroxystilbene was not very effective against combating the common fungus, Candida albicans. I guarantee one thing! The Osage Orange tree is very resistant to Candida infections! So there is much more to this tree than just tetrahydroxystilbene! The Osage Orange is a soup of many anti-microbial chemicals working together to protect this tree in a way that few trees have ever been protected. It is just not about tetrahydroxystilbene, but because so much research has been done on this one compound, we will concentrate on it below.
There are a number of herbalists and alternative health researchers that will tell you that fungi in its many forms is the true general cause of cancer and other chronic diseases. It may or may not be, but I am sure of one thing, fungi is absolutely underestimated by the medical community in the havoc it can cause in both human and animal pathology. There are few really good, nontoxic antifungals out there for one to use. Osage Orange is one plant that can bring you a very effective non-toxic, antifungal component. There isn't much out there on the Internet on the value of Osage Orange for medicinal purposes. You will run across some people using the hedge apple fruit as the main part of the tree to fight cancer, etc. I doubt seriously they are doing themselves justice by concentrating on just the fruit, though the fruit does contain some unique compounds. As with most medicinal trees, the value is not in the fruit, but found in the leaf or the inner bark of trees. Osage Orange should be no different! Almost without exception in the herbal literature, the inner bark (cambium layer and phloem) contains the most powerful concentration of a plant's chemicals. Compare the Osage to the Olive tree. The olive fruit is unpalatable in its natural state just like the Osage orange ball and both are not the part of the tree generally used in herbal medicine as a remedy. If you want to experiment with Osage Orange, I would suggest either the ethanol extract for oral use or the DMSO extract for topical application in your animals: I am not a commercial producer of tinctures. I just make a quality tincture for my own use and make a little extra on the side. The leaf and the fruits are the easiest components to obtain for medicine making. The heartwood, less so and the inner bark probably the most time consuming of all to collect and process. Prices for Osage Orange tincture will reflect this. You will pay higher prices for the inner bark and heartwood tincture as compared to the fruit and leaf tinctures. Check for availability!
Below Prices and shipping costs are for the USA only:
(for a large multi-item order, write for better shipping costs)
1. Osage Orange Tincture (leaf). . . . . . . produced by a cold ultrasonic maceration extraction process of the fresh leaf in either 80% ethanol or 99+% DMSO. A study has shown the leaf to contain the triterpene Lupine which has shown to have antimicrobial effects, along with deactivating melonoma cells and other cytotoxic activities. The leaf tincture could also likely contain five valuable flavonoids and anti-fungal extracts similar to its close relative, Maclura tinctoria. Its leaf should be of use as a cheap safe means of fighting all antimicrobial infections and melonoma. Bottled in glass with dropper............$12.00 (1 oz) or $20.00 (2 oz)