Botanical Name - Quassia amara
Other Names - Bitter Wood, Amargo, Bitter Ash
Origin - Mexico
Typical Preparations - teas, tinctures, extracts
Culinary Usages - Quassia is a common ingredient in herbal bitters.
Cosmetic Usages - Make a decoction and apply the infusion to the skin to deter insect bites.
Household Usages - Quassia Chips contain insecticidal properties against flies, red spider mite, aphid and woolly aphid. It is also great to repel possums.
Quassia Wood come from the Quassia amara shrub. It is native to Brazil, but is also found in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
There are several common uses for Quassia Wood. The wood chips are placed in a cup and covered with water, after which they soak. The resulting liquid is similar to a tea. The liquid is known for its bitter taste. The chips are also sometimes used in drinks and baked goods. It is not safe to use Quassia Wood during pregnancy.
To repel possums in the roof the chips can be spread around the area where they are entering the roof as well as throughout the roof cavity. Homemade Quassia spray is easily made and can also be sprayed around the roof cavity and entry points.
To make a spray to repel possums and insects;
Add 25g quassia chips to 500ml water in a saucepan bring to the boil, turn heat down, cover with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes, strain and add 25ml liquid soap. This is then diluted 1part to 3 parts of water before use. Put in a spray bottle to apply to affected area. Or, you can also make a spray by soaking the chips in a bucket of tap water, use around 200g of quassia chips to a 9-10 litre bucket of water let them soak for 24 hours before straining off the bitter liquid. This can then be sprayed on the affected area. Adding 5g of pure soap flakes per litre of spray is an effective wetting agent for the above spray. Don't spray it on food crops less than a week before you consume it.
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