Sticky alder – sticky alder

Name: Vіlha kleyka – sticky alder

Sticky alder (Alnus glutinosa); black alder; Birch family (Betulaceae); sticky alder

 

On a fine April day, the forest is “transparent”. The young leaves have not yet bloomed, everything around is very well visible. In the lowland, near the stream, some low tree has spread earrings. This alder is sticky. Its buds, young leaves and shoots are very sticky, hence the name of the plant.

The height of the tree is 5-25 (rarely up to 35) m. The bark is dark brown, almost black with age, fissured. The leaves appear after flowering, rounded, ovate-elliptic, with a notched top and a wedge-shaped base, serrated at the edges. Young alder shoots are reddish-brown, sticky. Male inflorescences are earrings, female inflorescences are short spikelets, single or in tassels, 2-6 each. The plant usually blooms in April. The bract scales then grow, become woody, the fruit takes the form of dark brown cones 1-4 cm long. The fruit is a one-seeded, two-winged nut, ripening in October. Opening of cones and scattering of seeds occurs in February-March. Black alder is a fast-growing tree, but not very long-lived – it lives for 50-100 years, rarely more. When felling, it gives numerous shoots on stumps, after reaching the age of 40, it is sometimes restored by root growth. A valuable, highly productive forest-forming breed. Forms pure and mixed plantations – with spruce, birch, aspen, ash and other trees. In the lowland swamps, alder is a native species. The undergrowth of chernovilshniak (black alder forest) consists of cherry, rowan, buckthorn, black currant, viburnum — a real medicinal society. The grass cover is dominated by primrose, ferns, viper, nettles and sedges.

Alder often inhabits abandoned lands, stream and river sediments, rock outcrops, but most often grows in floodplains with close groundwater. Just like its close relative – gray alder, synonym – white alder (A. insana), black alder is common in the forest and forest-steppe zones of the middle zone of Russia, forest and forest-steppe zones of Ukraine, Belarus, rarely occurs in the steppe part of Kazakhstan.

For medicinal purposes, leaves, bark of young branches and alder fruit (cones) are used. The leaves and bark are harvested in the spring, and the fruits are harvested in the fall and winter. Fallen cones cannot be collected! The fruit is dried in the attic or under shelter in the open air, and then in special dryers at a temperature of 50-60 °C. The leaves are used fresh, the bark is dried in the open air, dried in attics. The shelf life of finished raw materials (cones and bark) is 4 years. Alder fruits are sold in specialized pharmacies, used in scientific and folk medicine. Bark and leaves are used only in folk medicine.

Alder cones contain tannins (up to 2.5%), free gallic acid and flavonoids; leaves — glycosides and organic acids; bark — triterpenoids and up to 16% tannins.

The fruit has astringent, anti-inflammatory and hemostatic properties. Infusion and tincture of them are recommended for gastrointestinal diseases (dyspepsia, enterocolitis, enteritis, chronic colitis, dysentery, peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum), as well as for rheumatoid polyarthritis and colds. In gynecology, infusions of bark and sap are used to stop uterine bleeding of various origins, including uterine fibroids against the background of inflammatory diseases of the genital organs. A decoction of leaves is used in folk medicine for gout and polyarthritis, as a diaphoretic agent for colds.

Fresh leaves and bark in the form of an infusion are recommended for external use (rinse, lotions) for angina, sore throat, for the treatment of wounds and ulcers. Foot baths made from a decoction of leaves eliminate muscle fatigue after a long walk.

In veterinary medicine, an infusion of the bark and the fruit of the plant is prescribed for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract in calves, piglets and lambs.

Gray alder preparations are used in medicine and veterinary medicine on a par with sticky alder products for the same indications.

Alder has an important water conservation value, strengthens the banks of reservoirs. The wood of this breed is brownish-red, homogeneous, elastic, resistant to rotting, therefore it has long been used for the construction of various hydraulic structures (dams, dams, buildings on stilts, well logs). The bark is used for tanning hides and making natural dyes (it dyes fabrics in a reddish-brown color).

In April, bees return to the hives with a rich supply of fresh protein food – alder pollen.

Infusion of fruit. 10 g of raw material per 200 ml of boiling water. Heat in a water bath for 10 minutes, filter, wring out, bring to the original volume with warm boiled water. Take 1/2-1/3 cup 2-3 times a day.

Tincture of fruit. It is prepared in a ratio of 1:5 on 40% alcohol (vodka). Take 25-30 drops three times a day. The finished tincture is sold in specialized pharmacies.

Bark decoction. 15 g of crushed raw materials per 200 ml of boiling water. Boil for 15 minutes, filter. Take 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day.

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