Herb Reference Guide

Jamaican Dogwood

History

Although the common name of this plant refers to one of the countries you can find this shrubby, medium-sized deciduous tree, it is also native to Southern Florida, the West Indies, and Texas. Native Americans of the West Indies discovered that the bark of this tree would tranquilize fish so that they could be caught by hand. One of the other common names is “Fishfuddle” or “Florida Fish Poison”. The bark does have properties that help to modulate pain and tension and has been used traditionally in its native ranges for this purpose.

Function

The root bark and bark have been used traditionally to help with menstrual cramps. It does contain some isoflavonoid compounds (jamaicine, ichtynone, milletone) that have sedative properties. It has been used to support a healthy inflammatory response, promote comfort for occasional aches and pains, including headaches and cramps, as well as stress and tension.

Uses of Jamaican Dogwood

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Piscidine, Jamaicine, Ichthynone, Millettone

Parts Used

  • Bark

Important precautions

Not for use during pregnancy. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.

Additional Resources

Nellis, David N. 1994. Seashore plants of South Florida and the Caribbean: A guide to identification and propagation of xeriscape plants. Pineapple Press. 160 p.