Family Name: Betulaceae
Botanical Name(s): Alnus glutinosa
Popular Name(s): European Alder, Owle, Common Alder
Parts Used: The bark and leaves
Habitat: Black Alder is found in Europe, Asia and North Africa.
Description: Black alder is a deciduous tree growing up to a
height of 20-30 m. The plant is characterized by its 5-10 cm
short-stalked rounded leaves, which are 6-12 cm in length and
wedge-shaped at the base. Its flowers are segregated by sex into
separate catkins. The female flowers are reddish-purple in colours which
develop into hard cones containing seeds.
Uses: Black alder is used as an astringent, emetic and
hemostatic. A decoction of its bark is used as a gargle for sore throat
and pharyngitis. Boiling of inner bark in vinegar produces a useful
external wash which is used in skin problems.