Scientific Name:Rhamnus frangula L.
About this Herb:Native to Europe, northern Africa, western Asia, Ireland, Scandinavia, and is now found in eastern North America. A deciduous shrub, though many think it a tree, it can grow as tall as 25 feet. Prefers wet soil it can be found growing in hedges, thickets, at edges of woods and bogs. The bark is dark blackish-brown, with bright lemon-yellow inner bark exposed if cut. The flowers are small, star-shaped with five greenish-white acute triangular petals, that grow in clusters. The leaves are a light olive green in color, they are ovate and arranged alternately on the stems. The fruit is a small black berry around 6 to 10 mm in diameter, ripening from green to red to dark purple or black by fall. The seeds containing two or three pale brown 5 mm seeds
Common Names:Alder buckthorn, Alder dogwood, Arrow-wood, Black alder dogwood, Black alder tree, Black dogwood, European black alder, European buckthorn, Persian berries, Common buckthorn, Purging buckthorn, Waythorn
Uses:The bark is used as a laxative due to its 3 to 7% anthraquinone content. Bark must be dried for at least 1 year before using. The bark yields a yellow dye, unripe berries furnish a green dye and dark berries produce a purple dye.
Applications:Decoction: use 1 tsp. bark with 1/2 cup cold water. Bring to a boil. Drink before going to bed. Use no more than 1/2 oz. of bark per day.
Extracts: THIS IS A COLD EXTRACT: use 1 tsp. bark with 1/2 cup cold water. Let stand for 12 hours. Drink in the evening.