Alder Buckthorn | Treatment of Constipation | Natural Treatment | Herbal Remedies | Herbs | Herb

Alder buckthorn is used as an herbal remedy to relieve constipation and the symptoms associated with constipation. It can be continuously used over a very long period for the treatment of constipation and to encourage the return of regular bowel movements. Alder buckthorn is considered a stimulant laxative and ingredient of most constipation herbal remedies. The herb is known for its constipation natural treatment and without any side effects.

alder buckthorn, herbal remedies, constipation, constipation treatment, treatment for constipation, constipation herbal remedies, herb, constipation natural treatment, treatment of constipation

Rhamnus frangula Rhamnaceae Also called Black dogwood, Frangula bark

Found throughout Europe, alder buckthorn is a shrub that flourishes in damp woodlands and thickets. It is an upright plant, reaching a height of 3-5m. The brownish grey bark is covered in whitish warty spots. Pale green flowers appear in May and June,Jollowed by small red stone-bearing berries, which turn black when ripe.

Parts used


The bark is torn off in strips from the young trunk or branches of shrubs at flowering time.

It is chopped into small pieces and dried, and is used in a decoction.

Freshly picked bark is toxic, so it should not be used until it has been dried and stored for at least a year.


The bark of alder buckthorn contains derivatives of anthracene, a wellknown and effective laxative.


  • Fresh bark is toxic - do not use.
  • Avoid alder buckthorn if pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Do not give to children under 15.
  • Talk to a medical herbalist before using alder buckthorn.
  • Overdose can cause convulsions.


As preparations of alder buckthorn may conflict with certain prescribed medicines including certain corticosteroids and anti-arrhythmic heart drugs, it is advisable to seek the advice of a medical herbalist before using the plant.


Medicinal uses

Alder buckthorn has long been used to treat constipation. It works by increasing the absorption of water and electrolytes in the intestine, thereby stimulating intestinal movement. However, studies have also shown that if taken over a long period, alder buckthorn can cause diarrhoea and potassium loss. When produced commercially, the bark is often mixed with other ingredients.

Alder buckthorn is also believed to be a diuretic and to increase bile secretion in the gall bladder. It has been used to treat liver and gall-bladder complaints such as jaundice, hepatitis and cirrhosis.

A decoction rubbed into the gums can cure gingivitis; applied to the scalp, it clears headlice.

Research published in 1976 in the US journal LIyodia, showed that an extract from alderbuckthorn seeds inhibited the growth of tumours. And in 1991, American researchers demonstrated the antiviral activity of alder buckthorn plant extracts.


Alder buckthorn is best grown from seeds sown in autumn. It likes a sunny or lightly shaded position and a neutral to acid soil. It is a hardy shrub and can withstand freezing temperatures as low as -35░C.


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