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Alnus cones, astringents.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 1996 22:11:44 -0100
Sender: HERB.TREARNPC.EGE.EDU.TR
From: Henriette Kress <HeK.HETTA.PP.FI>
Subject: Alnus cones - uses

'lo folks,

an olde Finnish woman showed me the 'cones' of Alnus glutinosa and said an infusion of 10-15 of these (2 dl water, 10 minutes, gathered in winter - that's now) would take care of even a bad inflammation of the upper intestine in three days.

I was intrigued, so I went thru my books. Interesting to see that leaves and bark are used in the West, but Russians use mainly the cones, and scarcely mention the rest of the tree. Here's what's in those Russian books:

A.M. Rabinovitch: Lekarstvennie Rastenija SSSR (Medicinal plants of the SSSR):
A.glutinosa, A.incana:
You gather the fruit (cones). They contain tannic acid to 2.5 percent and gallic acid to 4 percent.
Make a tincture, fluid extract, infusion or decoction.
Use as an adstringent in acute and chronic enteritis, enterocolitis, dysentery, and colitis.

T.A.Gorbunova: Letchenie Rastennijami - retsepturnij spravotchnik (don't ask):
Alnus incana, A.glutinosa:
Used are cones, bark and leaves, sometimes the roots. Cones are gathered in winter (until March) from the branches; don't pick fallen cones. Dry in 50-60 deg.C; stability 3 years.
Astringent, hemostatic, diaphoretic, antimicrobial, will kill amoebas, will lessen a tendency to develop allergies.

Now I'll just go get some; anyone want a part of the next fad herb? ... I hear it even tastes bad; ) ... and anyone have some more information on the use of Alnus cones?


From: Howie Brounstein <howieb.TELEPORT.COM>

>an olde Finnish woman showed me the 'cones' of Alnus glutinosa and said an infusion of 10-15 of these (2 dl water, 10 minutes, gathered in winter - that's now) would take care of even a bad inflammation of the upper intestine in three days.

Any astringent might do this.

>Use as an adstringent in acute and chronic enteritis, enterocolitis, dysentery, and colitis.

Note astringent

>Astringent, hemostatic, diaphoretic, antimicrobial, will kill amoebas, will lessen a tendency to develop allergies.

Astringents by nature are mildly hemostatic and antimicrobial, especially if prepared with alcohol in a tincture.

>Now I'll just go get some; anyone want a part of the next fad herb? ... I hear it even tastes bad; ) ... and anyone have some more information on the use of Alnus cones?

Next fad herb? Well I find astringents very useful for many, many things. There are numerous wild plants virtually worldwide that are astringent due to tannins alone, and other plants with different specific non-tannic astringents, like arbutin or similar chemicals in the arctostaphylos genera (uva-ursi, manzanita, etc). These other chemicals cause astringent effects in places of the body that tannins won't affect.


If Alnus is primarily an tannin astringent, it could be used for:

edited class notes begin here

Astringents dry, draw, shrink swollen tissue. Most plant astringents are tannins.
Tannins bind with other chemicals readily and are not absorbed into the bloodstream. They can often stop bleeding through the tightening of tissues and are mildly disinfecting.

General uses for astringents with tannins:

External:

* Apply by poultice, tea, dabbed tincture, can use external solvents and astringents like witch hazel and isopropyl alcohol

  • Facial astringent
  • bug bites and stings
  • minor skin irritations
    * depends on the cause and kind of irritation
  • heat rash
  • hives
    * Hives have many causes, an astringent may or may not work
  • pulling infections
    * Hot Poultice repeatedly 3X day work best
  • 1st aid - stop bleeding
    * Usually chewed poultice
  • sunburn, windburn,fire burn
    * Burns are broken skin proteins
    * Tannins bind with broken protein to form a protective layer
    * Tannic acids used by burn treatment centers today
    * An astringent Sun Tea is good for sunburn
  • oily skin problems and pimples
    * Tincture dabbed with swab on area
    * For third eye type zits - hot poultice
  • poison oak
    * Dabbed, not wiped on pustules
    * Willow externally and internally relieves itch, plus it is an astringent
  • sitz bath
    * reduced inflammation, shrinks swelling, reduces risk of infection after childbirth.

Mouth & Throat:

  • canker sores
    * Astringency of alcohol helps, so use tincture
    * Hold tincture on area in mouth
    * Dab on tincture with cloth and hold for outer lip sores, repeated often
  • swollen gums
    * Mouthwash of tea or tincture
    * Powdered in toothpaste
    * Myrrh often the herb used for this
  • tonsillitis
    * Gargle
  • sores or burnt tongue
    * Gargle
  • sore throat
    * Gargle
  • esophageal ulcers
    * Gargle and swallow
    * Pills won't work here, need to physically have the astringent get to the ulcer, see stomach ulcers for more info

Digestive Tract:

* Blackberry root is a commonly used digestive tract astringent

  • ulcers
    * for stomach and esophageal only
    * Tannins with precipitate out before it reaches the duodenum
    * Not good for duodenal ulcers
  • dysentery
    * Strong tea or tincture, or capsules in this case
    * try cayenne and wood ash to change the acidity of stomach
    * do not feed the critters...fast without food till its gone
    * Enema if needed
  • stomach flu accompanied by diarrhea
    * Tea, tincture, capsules, or enema
  • poison antidote
    * Binds with some poisons in the stomach rendering them insoluble to the
    stomach lining

Lower colon cleanse

  • Enema

Smoking: Tannins give the smoke a thick body but have no system wide effects.

  • Barks common in mixtures, willow, oak, dogwood, etc.

Misc. Uses

  • tanning agent

Contraindications:

  • External
    * Dry rash
  • Internal
    * Irritation
    * Upset stomach

end here

Howie Brounstein



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