Alder | SustenanceNW


Cleansing, water loving medicine.

Gather twigs, bark, catkins or cones. Use as a poultice, or extracted by simmering water, infused in oil, made into balm, or tinctured.

Additional uses:

Like many tree barks, the high concentration of tannins and other chemicals used to protect the tree trunk from herbivores, fungi, bacteria, and viruses makes Alder bark a good antimicrobial, astringent, anti-parasitic, and digestive bitter.

In addition, like its water loving cousins Cottonwood and Willow, it is helpful for pain relief (especially dental pain). It can be used as a wound healing poultice. It has been used traditionally to treat both diarrhea and constipation, which makes sense given both its astringency and tendency to help normalize digestion.

There is traditional use and scientific evidence for its usefulness for preventing or treating cancer, and there is some scientific evidence that it may be helpful in reducing asthmatic airway inflammation / excess mucus production. There is some scientific evidence it can reduce tissue damage from strokes, and that it may be useful for reducing male pattern baldness.

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Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for treating or diagnosing any medical condition, and is only shared for educational purposes.