Botanical Name: Picrasma excelsa
- English: Quassia
- Also, known as: Bitter Wood, Bitterwood, Jamaica Quassia, Quassia Wood, Simarubabaum, Simaruba, Kashshing, Amargo, Bitter-Ash, Bois Amer, Cuasia, Ecorce de Quassia, Jamaican Quassia, Palo de Cuasia, Pao Tariri, Picrasma, Picrasma excelsa, Quassia Bark, Quassia de Jamaïque, Quassia de Surinam, Ruda, Surinam Quassia, Surinam Wood
Habitat: South America and the Caribbean.
Harvested: Wild or cultivated
Parts Used: Tree bark
Picrasma excelsa, is a tropical plant growing up to 100 feet tall and 50 feet wide. Commonly known as Bitterwood or Jamaican Quassia can be found in South America and the Caribbean. It is primarily cultivated for medicinal uses. It has even gray bark and bears multiple leaves from the branches, flowers are yellow, while its fruits are black and shaped like peas. The wood of the trunk of quassia is white and it becomes yellow upon exposure to air. The principal part of quassia used economically is the bark for which it is now cultivated on a commercial scale. What is interesting is the fact that no insect or pest ever bothers the tall and elegant quassia trees. The reason behind such a queer fact is that the entire tree, particularly the white-colored timber, is infused with a tremendously astringent resin. The key chemical component of the resin is an amalgam known as quassin, which is said to be an effectual insecticide. Apart from being a potent insecticide, quassin is valuable to humans both medicinally and otherwise.
How to use:
Decoctions are suitable for roots, barks, large seeds & berries, and other dense material. The simple way to make decoction is, in a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of dried herbs to 1 cup of water. Bring the water to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal decoctions with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.