I’m posting about Aralia spinosa but it’s necessary to post about 3 other trees as their medicinal uses are so similar. 1) Aralia spinosa aka Devils Walking Stick, Tooth Ache Tree and Hercules Club 2) Zanthoxylum clava-herculis (Northern Prickly Ash) 3) Zanthoxylum americanum (Southern Prickly Ash) (At one time was named Zanthoxylum fraxineum) 4) Magnolia acuminata aka Cucumber Tree and Cucumber Magnolia I'm quoting Darryl Patton's Book about the late great Tommie Bass and his teachings. The book is posted here https://www.homesteadingforum.org/threads/herbal-medicine-books-peanut-recommends.6745/ “If I had access to only 2 trees for the treatment of arthritis or rheumatism the Cucumber tree would be one. The other would be Southern Prickly Ash.” T. Bass For many here in the south, Aralia spinosa is considered a shrub version of Southern Prickly Ash. Both were used routinely by Tommie Bass. Botanists consider Aralia spinosa and Zanthoxylum americanum unrelated. Medicinally speaking they are interchangeable despite what botanists say. Most in these parts know Aralia spinosa as “The Tooth Ache Tree”. From personal experience I can say chewing the inner bark will numb your mouth (lips, tongue and gums) just like a big shot of novocaine. For ear aches fry the bark in oil until it pops. Strain out the plant material and let the oil cool. A drop of cool oil in the ear will stop an ear ache in it’s tracks. As a potent anti-inflammatory… The berries and inner bark are used in tincture form and as a tea. A tincture… 6oz of dried bark into a quart jar and cover with a pint of whisky, turn the jar over each day for 2 to 3 weeks then strain out the plant material. Use one teaspoon twice a day. For tea a teaspoon of dried and crushed inner bark is simmered for 10 minutes in a pint of water. Drink 3 times a day, I’d start with a cup each time. As has been pointed out elsewhere… The two best solvents around… are Water and Alcohol. They extract the chemical properties from plant material. Sometimes either will extract the desired medicinal chemicals. Some plants are best used in tincture form, others only as tea. Of the 4 trees posted here… only Magnolia acuminate and Aralia spinosa grow locally. I have personally only used these two as medicine. Pics of Aralia spinosa in various stages of growth… Blooming, fruiting and dormant in winter. The leaves are “Bipinnately Compound.” The trunk is covered by wicked, nasty thorns. It grows to be 12 to 15ft in height. It grows from Maine to Texas. Once I was carrying a new born calf out of some thick brush. The mother wasn’t happy with me and kept butting me, knocked me down a couple of times. Once after being butted I grabbed the trunk of a small tree for balance, it happened to be Aralia spinosa. Talk about pain as the thorns impaled my hand!!! It swelled up twice it’s normal size for several days and ached something awful. The black dots are on Aralia spinosa trees.