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Alder Buckthorn

Biological Name


Rhamnus fragula, Buckthorn family, Rhamnaceae

Other Names:


Alder Buckthorn, Arrowwood, Black Dogwood, Glossy Buckthorn, European buckthorn, black alder dogwood, black alder tree, Persian berries, European black alder, Buckthorn

Parts Used


Bark, fruit



Alder Buckthorn had been used by ancient Greece (second century AD). In early days, it was used for protection against poisons and headaches. Later, it became a valuable laxative.

Remedies For


 Purgative, diuretic, emetic, vermifuge

Fruit: purgative

Well known cure for constipation. Not habit forming. An effective remedy for appendicitis. Good in rheumatism, gout, dropsy, and skin diseases. When taken hot it will induce profuse perspiration. Expels worms. The ointment is good for itching applied externally; also will remove warts.



Alder Buckthorn is a deciduous tree growing up to 20 feet tall. It has glossy oval leaves. The bark is green when young. As it become older, the bark become gray and marked with whitish transverse ridges. Small greenish-white flowers appear around May-July. The pea sized berries turn from green to red and finally to black as it matures.



use as ointment, fomentation or poultice



The berries are slightly poisonous and can cause vomiting.

The freshly cut bark should not be used. The bark should be dried for one to two years before using.

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