Fall leaves and berries
- Common Names
- Alder Buckthorn , Alder Dogwood, Alder Buckthorn
- Botanical Name
- Rhamnus frangula
- Syn. Frangula alnus
Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Alder Buckthorn
- Medicinal Uses: * Constipation
- Properties: * Bitter * Laxative
- Constituents: bitters, anthraquinones, flavonoids, and tannins
How to Use:
The dried and aged bark is the part used in herbal medicine, primarily as a laxative. Frangula bark is considered to be milder in action than aloes and senna with only minimal irritant properties, about the same as rhubarb. It is a close relative of the California buckthorn, Cascara sagrada The slightly gentler action makes it more suitable to those with chronic constipation as a tonic to re-educate the bowel. For persistent cases frangula with not suffice on its own and is often combined with carminatives and stronger laxatives.(Weiss, Rudolf Fritz M.D.)
Preparation Methods & Dosage :Tablets, tea and tinctures
Side Effects: If the buckthorn is not aged, it is not laxative, it is purgative, causing intense intestinal spasms and vomiting. As with all laxative herbs it is not meant for continuous long term use.
A colour riot in the fall, with leaves in green and yellow, and berries ripening from green through red to black.
- Plant Class: Shrub
- Etymology: The genuse name Frangula refers to the brittle wood
- Flowers/Fruit/Seeds: The flowers are small and insignificant, a greenish white, growing in groups from a leaf axil. The fruits are first red then aging into black.
- Parts used: Aged bark
- Leaves: Deciduous, alternate on stem; Shape: Ovate, with the margins entire Veins: Pairs of prominently grooved veins
- Habit: Growing between 3m occasionally to 7 m tall. It is usually multistemmed, but rarely forms a small tree with a trunk diameter of up to 20 cm.
- Flowering Season:
- Distribution: Native to Europe and naturalised in eastern North America. It likes company and often forms dense undergrowth in damp woodlands together with spindle trees, alders, guelder rose and others.
- Unique Feature : This buckthorn has no thorns.
History and Traditions & FolkloreAlder fine charcoal was widely used from the Middle Ages through the Second World War for slow-burning fuses.