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Healing Properties Of Alnus Glutinosa

Updated on April 12, 2011

The black alder and common alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn., 1790), tree is a plant of the genus Alnus (Betulaceae family). It is present throughout Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor, Siberia and East Asia.It's a herbal plant

Botanical Characters


The black alder is a tree about 10 feet tall, exceptionally up to 20-25 meters, sometimes shrub-like, longitudinally cracked bark, black. The wood and roots have a characteristic color from yellow-orange to red-orange.


The leaves are deciduous, petiolate and scattered. They lamina leathery, glabrous, obovate or subrotonda, wedged at the base and apex truncate or slightly insinuated. The margin is indented. The page is less sticky, especially in young leaves (hence the specific epithet "gluten") and shows scattered tufts of armpit hair of the ribs.


Like all species of the same family, the black alder is a monoecious plant, with flowers with separated sexes taken on the same plant. Both men's and female flowers are very small and in inflorescences to Amenta. The female catkins are gathered in small groups of 3-6, long stalked and erect. They have an ellipsoidal shape and are green. The shape is similar to cones of conifers and are 1-1.5 cm long. The male catkins are organized in groups of 3-5, are pendulous and round, up to 6 cm long, pale greenish-yellow. Flowering occurs in late winter, in February-March, but there is a marked variability, lasted from mid-winter to late spring in warm regions than in colder.


The female catkins develop into seed heads of black woody consistency, pendulous, with persistent bracts bearing licenses and even after the dissemination of the fruit. The remains of the seed heads may persist for several years. The fruit is a small winged achene.




In addition to performing an ecological function in the maintenance of river ecosystems, training or even mixed with black alder are useful for the consolidation of the banks of rivers and thus holding a collateral role of environmental protection against landslides.


The technological can provide timber for use in small carpentry, cabinet making and for the construction of wooden floors. The freshly cut wood black alder is yellow-orange, but with aging becomes bright red-orange.


With regard to mechanical properties is presented as a semi-hard and smooth wood of remarkable durability underwater. For this reason, especially in the past, it was widely used as wood for building for submerged objects. The alder wood was, in fact, known to be used in the course of human history to set up the support of the pile or piles to achieve hydraulic structures, was also used to build the foundations of buildings in Venice.

Healing Properties

The black alder bark contains tannins, alnulina, protoalnulina, emodin. To these ingredients, especially tannins, are assigned properties febrifugal, mildly anti-inflammatory, astringent. The decoction of the bark is also employed in the liquor as part of the bitter.

The leaves are astringent and diuretic properties instead. The Pharmacopoeia gives the leaves also popular anti-rheumatic properties, worming, antisecretory and in particular, galattofughe. In popular tradition, they used the leaves of black alder to reduce sweating or lactation.


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    • daffodil2010 profile image

      daffodil2010 6 years ago

      thank you my friends

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Great hub! We have several alder trees in our garden growing along side a little brook. I didn't realise what a useful plant it is. The local jeweler likes to plate the little "cones" in gold to make beautiful earrings

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

      You did a good research on this herbal plant anus glutinosa. The text, together with the picture, will lead many to find it. So sad, I don't see this plant thriving in my immediate surroundings. This is useful.

    • daffodil2010 profile image

      daffodil2010 6 years ago

      my friend has used this and she says it is useful for her health.