Euonymus atropurpureus

Euonymus atropurpureus (eastern wahoo, burning bush, bitter-ash) is a species of Euonymus native primarily to the Midwestern United States, but its range extends from southern Ontario south to northern Florida and Texas.



The bark is used in medicine and for tea preparations.


Euonymus atropurpureus was used in various ways by the North American Indians, for example as an eye lotion, as a poultice for facial sores and for gynaecological conditions. In current herbalism it is considered to be a gallbladder remedy with laxative and diuretic properties. The bark, however, is toxic and should only be used under professional supervision, it should not be given to pregnant women or nursing mothers. The stem and root bark is alterative, cardiac, cathartic, cholagogue, diuretic, expectorant, hepatic, laxative, stimulant and tonic. The root bark is the part normally used, though bark from the stems is sometimes employed as a substitute. In small doses it stimulates the appetite, in larger doses it irritates the intestines. The bark is especially useful in the treatment of biliousness and liver disorders which follow or accompany fevers and for treating various skin disorders such as eczema which could arise from poor liver and gallbladder function. It is also used as a tea in the treatment of malaria, liver congestion, constipation etc. The powdered bark, applied to the scalp, was believed to eliminate dandruff. The bark and the root contain digitoxin and have a digitalis-like effect on the heart. They have been used in the treatment of heart conditions. The bark, which has a sweetish taste, is gathered in the autumn and can be dried for later use. A tea made from the roots is used in cases of uterine prolapse, vomiting of blood, painful urination and stomach-aches. The seed is emetic and strongly laxative


Please consult your doctor for more information on side effects.


  • None are recorded.

Other names

  • eastern wahoo, burning bush, bitter-ash


Source: Wikipedia,



















































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