Information on Quassia

Latin NamePicrasma excelsa; P. amara
Other NamesJamaican quassia
Part UsedBark
Herb FormsTincture, bulk herb for tea.
AffectsDigestive system, Liver
CautionsAvoid large doses (more than 1-2 grams daily). Contraindicated during pregnancy.
Botanical InfoA large evergreen tree from the Quassia family with fragrant, small yellowish-green flowers in long clusters.
DescriptionQuassia is a bitter herb taken for loss of appetite, worms, and giardia. It is used as a wash to rid the hair of lice.
To make a cold infusion--soak 12 grams of quassia wood shavings in a pint of cold water for 12 hours; strain and drink 1 ounce 3 x daily by itself or in a little ginger tea.

Quassia has a taste of BITTER and a temperature of COLD.


Infusion1 ounce 3 x daily [with ginger]
Tincture1-2 droppersful, 2-3 x daily [with ginger]

Ailments Treated by Quassia

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Alcoholismdigestive bittertincture, capsules
Giardiaanti-parasitictincture, capsule
Lice, headantiparasitictea as a wash
Trichomonasantiparasitictea as a douche
Wormsantiparasitic, anthelmintictincture
Bowel dysbiosisantiparastitic, digestive stimulanttincture, tea


McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Felter, H.W. and J.U. Lloyd. 1983. (1898). King's Dispensatory. Portland, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications.
Madaus, G. 1976. Lehrbuch der Biologischen Heilmittel. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag.
Parke, Davis & Co. 1910. Manual of Therapeutics. Detroit: Parke, Davis & Co.