Jamaican Dogwood Piscidia piscipula

Piscidia piscipula
Koehler's Medicinal-Plants 1887
  • Common Names
  • Jamaican Dogwood , Florida Fishposion Tree
  • Botanical Name
  • Piscidia piscipula
  • Syn. P. erythrina
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Jamaican Dogwood

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How to Use: Jamaican Dogwood

Jamaican dogwood is a fairly potent sedative well known as a specific for migraine headaches, neuralgia, and for treatment of insomnia caused by pain , nervous tension, and stress. The bark is anti-inflamatory and antispasmodic and can be used in cases of dysmenorrhea (painful periods). Jamaican dogwood is a strong analgesic that can be used along with other herbs to treat the musculoskeletal pain of arthritis and rheumatism.1,2,3

Preparation Methods & Dosage :Most often as a decoction, also taken in tincture and caps.

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Jamaican Dogwood Remedies

Jamaican Dogwood Side Effects: Jamaican Dogwood is a powerful sedative. It is not poisonous to humans, but taking more than the recommended dose can cause a marked sedative effect.

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Plant Description

  • Plant Class: deciduous, tropical tree
  • Etymology: From the Latin piscis, "fish," and caedo, "to kill."
  • Flowers/Fruit/Seeds:White flowers are tinged with red or pink Flowers develop into a light brown, bean-like pod (8 to 10 cm long) with four papery wings.
  • Parts used: Bark The bark is yellow or grayish brown on the outer surface, and lighter colored or white on the inner surface. Jamaica dogwood's distinctly acrid and bitter taste causes a burning sensation in the mouth, and the bark gives off an unpleasant odor.
  • Leaves:Dark Green ,alternate and pinnately compound.
  • Flowering Season: Ripening in July and August, the pods contain red-brown seeds with oval shapes.
  • Distribution: Southern Florida, the Florida Keys, Texas, Caribbean,Native to Latin America. The Florida fishpoison tree grows in coastal zones, preferring well-drained sandy soils.The tree has some tolerance to short-term storm surges of brackish water or seawater.

Regional Traditions :Central and South America *

books citedWorks Cited
  1. Mountain Rose Herbs
  2. Hoffmann, David (2010-12-15). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine (pp. 409). Healing Arts Press.
  3. Grieve, Maud Mrs. "A Modern Herbal" (1931)