Ukrainian name is vіlha chorna, vіlha glue.
Birch family – Betulaceae.
For therapeutic purposes, seedlings – cones are used.
It occurs almost throughout Ukraine in extremely large quantities in Polesie, less often in the Forest-Steppe and Carpathians (up to a height of 500-600 m), not often in the Steppe, absent in the sagebrush Steppe. It grows in wet and swampy places, often forming alder forests – black alder forests on tens and hundreds of hectares, also
banks of rivers, oxbow lakes, lakes, ponds, in wet beams, places where soil water comes out, etc.
The stocks of raw materials are very large (tens of tons of cones can be harvested annually). Average annual harvesting of alder cones in the republic in 1974-1976. amounted to 34.4 tons.
Tree up to 30-35 m high with dark brown bark. Young branches are red-brown with whitish transverse lenticels, sometimes not densely pubescent. Kidneys are sticky, on legs. Young leaves are also sticky (hence the name of the plant). The flowers are collected in earrings – male 4-7 cm long, dark brown, female – 1-2 cm long, green. The fruits are winged nuts, 2-2.5 mm in diameter. Alder blossoms in the second half of April – May. The fruits ripen in September – October.
Gray alder cones should also be collected. This species is widely distributed in the forest regions of the European part of the USSR, but in Ukraine it is found only in the Carpathians (and very rarely in Polissya). It is not allowed to harvest cones of green alder (Table 34, Fig. 50), which is found in large quantities in the highlands of the Carpathians on the slopes of mountains and along the banks of streams.
Female infructescences (cones) are harvested in autumn and winter (November – February). To do this, cut off the ends of the branches with “bumps” with secateurs or files and then cut them off. They also collect cones on trees cut down in clearings and during thinnings.
Dry in attics or under sheds with good ventilation, spreading a thin layer (4-5 cm) on paper or cloth and stirring from time to time. It is better to dry in dryers or warm rooms, in an oven when the temperature drops to 50-60 °, on an oven, etc. The yield of dry raw materials is 39-40%.
According to FS 42-250-74, the raw material consists of lignified cones up to 30 mm long and up to 13 mm in diameter with open scales (with or without seeds). The color is dark brown or brownish to almost black. The smell is weak, uncharacteristic. The taste is a little tart.
The content of tannins should not be less than 10%, humidity should not exceed 12%. Not more than (percent) is allowed in raw materials: crushed parts (passing through a sieve with a hole diameter of 1 mm) – 3, twigs and stalks without cones – 1, cones with stalks or stems longer than 2 cm from the place of attachment of the lower seed – 3, organic ( parts of other plants) – 0.5 and mineral impurities – 1.
Packed in bags or bast bags weighing 20 kg. Store in dry, well-ventilated areas on pallets or racks. Storage period up to 3 years. The cones contain tannin, gallic acid. They are used in infusions as an astringent for enteritis and colitis. They are part of the gastric collection.