The hedge apple or Osage orange is said to have beneficial uses. This is a guide about what hedge apples are good for.
There are no chemicals involved so I guess it's a green tip. If you have a problem with roaches, ants, mice, or other pests inside the house, gather some crab apples and place them around your basement, crawl space, and foundation of your house. My in-laws have done this for years and haven't even seen a trace of a pest or rodent.
By Tammy from Cookeville, TN
Are hedge apples OK to eat?
No, it is an ornamental item, we use in the house for bug deterrent. Also known as horse apple and hedge balls here.
I use them whole every year. About 20 to 25 of them under the furniture and sink, in the closets. They do work, and they don't rot if you don't cut them. They just shrivel up. I got them last week and put them out. Never had gnats or any problem. Just use them whole.
When collecting the hedge apples to use for cancer treatment, can you collect them from the tree or do you need to let them fall off first?
By Alharston from Scottsville, KY
Hedgeapples are not poisonous. However, Hedge apples have suffocated livestock by lodging in their esophagus. Very often a Hedge apple is incorrectly referred to as a Hedge Ball, Horse Apple, Green Brains, Monkey Balls or Mock Orange.
They are used in households to repel spiders. Each Hedge apple lasts about 2-3 months for this.
I do not know of any cancer use and in doing research did not come across any reference to that use.
Human consumption is not recommended and the contact with skin could bring various issues from itching, etc
We wait until they hit the ground. The thorns of the tree make it hard to actually pick them. They usually begin falling off in mid-September. We have two people we know of that have successfully used this for cancer treatment. The Amish suggested it first to a man with lymphoma. Another woman in Cartersville, GA has been told by her doctors that it is a miracle. The doctors, of course, can't condone the use of a natural treatment because they might be held responsible if it doesn't work.
There are several pages on the Internet about the use of hedge apples for treating cancer.
I became very interested in this topic because we had a patient that was eating the hedge apple because of what he heard from the Amish. He is now bleeding throughout his lungs and may not live. He did not tell anyone that he was using the hedge apple but it has messed up his clotting cascade and may not live. Feel it is very important for anyone to tell their doctor or family they are using it, in the event some problem arises. Please be careful.
Do you cut the hedge apples in half before placing them around your house for pest control or leave them whole?
By Glenda from KS
You use them whole, but think long and hard before you do this! I did this as I don't like spiders and thought this method would be great as it doesn't involve chemicals. Well, what ended up happening was a ton of gnats came to visit, drawn to the hedge apples. :-( I won't do this again.
I want to put hedge apples in my basement to repel rodents, spiders, and other pests, but I don't know how many to place down there. Do I put them in groups or singly scatter? Do I need 5 or 50? We have a basement that is around 1000 square ft.
By ERK from eastern IA
I cut up squares of pantyhose-they don't have to be big and cut the hedge apple in about an inch pieces, gather corner to corner and tie in knots. Place where you know spiders are, like behind doors, corners, out of reach of children and pets. They really work!
Is a crab apple the same thing as a hedge apple? I noticed in one of the comments someone mentioned crab apple. As a youngster in south Mississippi I remember crab apples. I want to remember that kids ate them, but I may be remembering wrong.
Does anyone have any ideas for Hedge Apples? I picked a bunch from some trees in the country. I've heard they will repel spiders. Any craft ideas? Are they poisonous? Excited to find out.
Sharon from Stockham, NE
Also known as OSAGE ORANGE. (10/13/2008)
I love the color and texture of hedge apples and want a few to put in a bowl or basket for decoration. I didn't know deer fed on them - that's a new one, but I knew they rot. (10/13/2008)
I've learned at the University of Washington Burke Museum site and elsewhere, that neither osage orange nor horse chestnuts can 'repel' spiders, which have no sense of smell anyway. The spiders in houses were nearly all born there. (10/13/2008)
They are really not good for much of anything. They are inedible for humans. Not poisonous, but so fibrous that they can clog the throat and cause choking. The "juice" is irritating to the skin of some people and can cause burning and itching.
I tried slicing some and drying them in the oven for using in natural dried flower arrangements. I have to agree it is not worth the trouble. On the other hand, I like the bright green color and interesting texture. To maybe put in a bright orange bowl for a temporary, unusual centerpiece. (10/13/2008)
Well, they've always helped keep the spider population in my house almost non-existent. When we moved in, over three years ago, I had constantly battled daddy-long legs in the basement. After three years of placing hedge apples around the basement every fall, I rarely see a spider. They work for me! (10/14/2008)
They do repel spiders BUT when they start turning brown you need to throw them away because they start smelling worse than a skunk spraying. (10/14/2008)
I know the wood from the tree is sometimes used in making bows. (10/22/2008)
This will come as a major surprise to the medical community, but I have personal knowledge that the hedge-apple is an alternative cancer treatment. I personally know 3 people who are now cancer free after using 1 teaspoon per day for only 1 month. It isn't poisonous. In my opinion, it's a miracle from GOD. (11/07/2008)
By Judy M.
I just heard about them stopping cancer, too. A friend personally knows 3 people who had 3 different types of cancer - all cured. One was skin cancer so they rubbed the hedge apple on their skin. And yes, they make excellent bows. My father has carved many, many bows from the wood. He calls them bowdark trees. (12/14/2008)
Mostly they are good to feed squirrels and other wild animals. Deer will eat them if they are starving.
There are some that swear by them as bug deterrents, but it takes a lot of them. They get in the way, and as they are an organic material, they will rot. Kids like to throw them at each other.
I saw a craft once using sliced hedge apples that were dried then painted, but it was hard to cut them and they weren't pretty enough to go to the trouble. (09/28/2006)
By Carla B