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Alder Buckthorn

Latin Name:
Rhamnus frangula


Deciduous shrub or tree with ovate leaves that turn brown/yellow in autumn. Small green flowers appear after leaves, followed by red berries that ripen to black. Height: Up to 15 feet. Blooms: Late spring

Common Uses

A laxative and cathartic, it is commonly taken as a treatment for constipation. Fresh bark, powdered and mixed with vinegar, is used to topically to treat fungal diseases of the skin, as well as acne.


The bark is only used internally after it has been dried for 1-2 years, but fresh bark can be used topically to treat fungal diseases of the skin and acne. All parts are harmful if eaten and the sap and berries can be skin irritants. It was once grown to make charcoal for gun-powder and the wood is still used to make boxes, handles, and ornaments.

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