Common Names

Alder Buckthorn, Alder Dogwood, Alder Buckthorn

Botanical Name

Rhamnus frangula

Family

Rhamnaceae

Medicinal Uses

Constipation

Properties

Bitter, Laxative

Parts Used

The aged or heated bark

Constituents

bitters, anthraquinones, flavonoids, and tannins

Habitat

It is native to most of Europe and spreads as far as western China. It grows best in wet soils and open woods, thriving in scrubs, hedgerows, wet heathland, river banks and bogs. Although it prefers acidic soils it can grow on neutral soils as well.

Side Effects

It might cause low potassium; heart problems; stomach problems; muscle weakness; and blood problems, including blood in the urine. If the buckthorn is not aged, it is not laxative, it is purgative, causing intense intestinal spasms and vomiting.

How to Prepare

1. Take only the amount of bark needed to produce a soft stool.

2. Alder buckthorn is also taken as a tea. The tea is prepared by steeping 2 grams of the herb in 150 mL of boiling water for 5-10 minutes and then straining.

3. Alder buckthorn is also available as a liquid extract. The common dose of the liquid extract: (1:1 in 25% alcohol) is 2-5 mL three times daily.