Ailanthus altissima Health effects and herbal facts

Known as
China-sumac Chinese tree-of-heaven stinktree tree-of-heaven varnishtree

Ailanthus altissima, commonly known as tree of heaven, ailanthus, or in Standard Chinese as chouchun, is a deciduous tree in the Simaroubaceae family. It is native to both northeast and central China, as well as Taiwan. Unlike other members of the genus Ailanthus, it is found in temperate climates rather than the tropics. The tree grows rapidly and is capable of reaching heights of 15 metres in 25 years. However, the species is also short lived and rarely lives more than 50 years. In China, the tree of heaven has a long and rich history. It was mentioned in the oldest extant Chinese dictionary and listed in countless Chinese medical texts for its purported ability to cure ailments ranging from mental illness to baldness. The roots, leaves and bark are still used today in traditional Chinese medicine, primarily as an astringent. The tree has been grown extensively both in China and abroad as a host plant for the ailanthus silkmoth, a moth involved in silk production. Ailanthus has become a part of western culture as well, with the tree serving as the central metaphor and subject matter of the best-selling American novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

Ailanthus altissima

Medical use

Economic importance of Ailanthus altissima

Environmental ornamental shade/shelter
Fuels potential as fuelwod
Invertebrate food silkworms
Materials wod
Medicines folklore
Weed potential sed contaminant

Gallery

Ailanthus altissima Ailanthus altissima Ailanthus altissima Ailanthus altissima Ailanthus altissima Ailanthus altissima Ailanthus altissima Ailanthus altissima Ailanthus altissima Ailanthus altissima

Geografical distribution

  • AFRICA
    Naturalized
    • Macaronesia: Portugal - Azores
    • Africa
  • ASIA-TEMPERATE
    Native
    • China: China - Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Nei Monggol, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan
    • Eastern Asia: Taiwan
  • AUSTRALASIA
    Naturalized
    • Australia: Australia
    • New Zealand: New Zealand
  • EUROPE
    Naturalized
    • Europe
  • NORTHERN AMERICA
    Naturalized
    • Canada
    • Mexico
    • United States
  • PACIFIC
    Naturalized
    • North-Central Pacific: United States - Hawaii
  • SOUTHERN AMERICA
    Naturalized
    • South America

Biological activities

11B-HSD-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
5-Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor
Fisetin found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
ACE-Inhibitor
Fisetin found in Plant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
ATPase-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Aldehyde-Oxidase-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Allelochemic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Allergenic
Fisetin found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Amebicide
Ailanthinone found in Bark
Ailanthone found in Fruit
Quassin found in Plant
Analgesic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Androgenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Anesthetic
Scopoletin found in Plant
Angiogenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Anorexic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Anthelmintic
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
AntiGTF
Quercetin found in Leaf
AntiHIV
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Lignin found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
AntiMRSA
Gallic-acid found in Plant
AntiPMS
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiadenomic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Antiadenovirus
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Antiadrenergic
Scopoletin found in Plant
Antiaflatoxin
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Antiaggregant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiaging
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiallergenic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Antiallergic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antialzheimeran
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antianaphylactic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiandrogenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Antiangiogenic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiarrhythmic
Scopoletin found in Plant
Antiarthritic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiasthmatic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Antiatherosclerotic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antibacterial
1-methoxycanthin-6-one found in Wood
Ailanthone found in Fruit
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Canthin-6-one found in Wood
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Lignin found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antibronchitic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Antibronchoconstrictor
Scopoletin found in Plant
Anticancer
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Lignin found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Anticarcinomic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Anticariogenic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Anticataract
Quercetin found in Leaf
Anticholinergic
Scopoletin found in Plant
Anticolitic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Anticomplementary
Quercetin found in Leaf
Anticoronary
Lignin found in Plant
Anticystitic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antidepressant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antidermatitic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antidiabetic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antidiarrheic
Lignin found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antidysenteric
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antiedemic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Scopoletin found in Plant
Antielastase
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiencephalitic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiescherichic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiestrogenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antifeedant
Ailanthone found in Fruit
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Antifertility
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Antifibrinolytic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Antifibrosarcomic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiflu
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antigastric
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antigiardial
Ailanthinone found in Bark
Antigonadotrophic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Antigonadotropic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antihepatotoxic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antiherpetic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antihistaminic
Fisetin found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antihydrophobic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antihyperlipoproteinaemic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Antihypertensive
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antiinflammatory
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Elaidic-acid found in Plant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Antileishmanic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antileukemic
Ailanthinone found in Bark
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Canthin-6-one found in Wood
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antileukotriene-D4
Elaidic-acid found in Plant
Antileukotriene
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antileukotrienogenic
Scopoletin found in Plant
Antilipolytic
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antilipoperoxidant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antilymphomic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Antimalarial
Ailanthinone found in Bark
Ailanthone found in Fruit
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antimelanomic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antimetastatic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antimutagenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Fisetin found in Plant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antimycotic
Canthin-6-one found in Wood
Antimyocarditic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antinephritic
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antinitrosaminic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Lignin found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antinociceptive
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiophidic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antioxidant
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Fisetin found in Plant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Lignin found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antipancreatitic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiperiodontal
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiperiodontitic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Antiperistaltic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antipermeability
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiperoxidant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antipharyngitic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiplaque
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiplasmodial
Ailanthinone found in Bark
Ailanthone found in Fruit
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antipodriac
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antipolio
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiprogestational
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Antiproliferant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Antiprostaglandin
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Scopoletin found in Plant
Antiprostanoid
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiprostatadenomic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Antiprostatitic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antiproteolytic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Antipsoriac
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antipyretic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Antiradicular
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antirenitic
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antiretroviral
Isoquercetin found in Leaf
Antiseptic
Canthin-6-one found in Wood
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Scopoletin found in Plant
Antispasmodic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Antistaphylococcic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Antistreptococcic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antithiamin
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antithrombic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antitrypanosomic
Ailanthinone found in Bark
Quercetin found in Leaf
Antitubercular
Ailanthone found in Fruit
Antitumor-Promoter
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antitumor
1-methoxycanthin-6-one found in Wood
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Lignin found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antiulcer
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Antiviral
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Fisetin found in Plant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Isoquercetin found in Leaf
Lignin found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Apertif
Quassin found in Plant
Apoptotic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Artemicide
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Astringent
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Bacteristat
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Bradycardiac
Quercetin found in Leaf
Bronchodilator
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Bronchorelaxant
Scopoletin found in Plant
CNS-Depressant
Scopoletin found in Plant
CNS-Stimulant
Scopoletin found in Plant
COMT-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
COX-2-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Calmodulin-Antagonist
Quercetin found in Leaf
Cancer-Preventive
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Mucilage found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Candidicide
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Capillarigenic
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Capillariprotective
Quercetin found in Leaf
Carcinogenic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Caspase-8-Inducer
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Catabolic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Chelator
Lignin found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Cholagogue
Scopoletin found in Plant
Choleretic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Scopoletin found in Plant
Copper-Chelator
Quercetin found in Leaf
Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor
Fisetin found in Plant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Cytochrome-P450-1A2-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Cytotoxic
Canthin-6-one found in Wood
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Deiodinase-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Demulcent
Mucilage found in Plant
Diaphoretic
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Differentiator
Quercetin found in Leaf
Diuretic
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Emetic
Calcium-oxalate found in Plant
Quassin found in Plant
Estrogenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Febrifuge
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Floral-Inhibitor
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Fungicide
Canthin-6-one found in Wood
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Glucosyl-Transferase-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Gonadotrophic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
HIV-RT-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Hemostat
Cellulose found in Bark
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Hepatomagenic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Hepatoprotective
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Herbicide
Scopoletin found in Plant
Hypocholesterolemic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Lignin found in Plant
Mucilage found in Plant
Hypoglycemic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Hypolipidemic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Hypotensive
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Immunomodulator
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Immunostimulant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Immunosuppressant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Inflammatory
Calcium-oxalate found in Plant
Inotropic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Insecticide
Quassin found in Plant
Insectiphile
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Insulin-Sparing
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Insulinogenic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Iodothyronine-Deiodinase-Inhibitor
Fisetin found in Plant
Juvabional
Quercetin found in Leaf
Larvistat
Quercetin found in Leaf
Laxative
Calcium-oxalate found in Plant
Lignin found in Plant
Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor
Fisetin found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Lithogenic
Calcium-oxalate found in Plant
MAO-A-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
MAO-Inhibitor
Scopoletin found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
MMP-9-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Mast-Cell-Stabilizer
Quercetin found in Leaf
Metalloproteinase-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Musculotropic
Scopoletin found in Plant
Mutagenic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Mycobactericide
Ailanthone found in Fruit
Myorelaxant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Scopoletin found in Plant
NADH-Oxidase-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
NEP-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
NF-kB-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
NO-Inhibitor
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
NO-Synthase-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Nephrotoxic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Neuroprotective
Quercetin found in Leaf
Ornithine-Decarboxylase-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Oxidase-Inhibitor
Fisetin found in Plant
P450-Inducer
Quercetin found in Leaf
P450-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
PGE2-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
PTK-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Pesticide
1-methoxycanthin-6-one found in Wood
Ailanthinone found in Bark
Ailanthone found in Fruit
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Canthin-6-one found in Wood
Fisetin found in Plant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Isoquercetin found in Leaf
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Lignin found in Plant
Quassin found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Scopoletin found in Plant
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Phospholipase-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Phytoalexin
Scopoletin found in Plant
Phytohormonal
Scopoletin found in Plant
Plasmodicide
Quercetin found in Leaf
Proliferant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Prostaglandin-Synthesis-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Protein-Kinase-C-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Protisticide
Ailanthinone found in Bark
Psychotropic
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
Quinone-Reductase-Inducer
Quercetin found in Leaf
Spermicide
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Styptic
Gallic-acid found in Plant
TNF-alpha-Inhibitor
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Quercetin found in Leaf
Teratologic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Topoisomerase-I-Inhibitor
Fisetin found in Plant
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Topoisomerase-II-Inhibitor
Fisetin found in Plant
Isoquercitrin found in Leaf
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tumorigenic
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tyrosinase-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tyrosine-Kinase-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Ubiquiot
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Ulcerogenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Plant
Uterosedative
Scopoletin found in Plant
VEGF-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
Vasodilator
Quercetin found in Leaf
Xanthine-Oxidase-Inhibitor
Gallic-acid found in Plant
Quercetin found in Leaf
Tannin found in Leaf (120000 ppm)
cAMP-Inhibitor
Canthin-6-one found in Wood
cAMP-Phosphodiesterase-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf
iNOS-Inhibitor
Quercetin found in Leaf

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Chemicals detected

Reference: Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. [Online Database]