This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAMES. Common Alder, Smooth Alder.
MEDICINAL PART. The bark.
Description. -- This is a well-known shrub, growing in clumps, and forming thickets on the borders of ponds and rivers, and in swamps. The stems are numerous, and from six to fifteen feet high. The leaves are obovate, acuminate, smooth, and green, from two to four inches long.
History. -- The Alnus Rubra is indigenous to Europe and America, and blossoms in March and April. The bark is the part used medicinally.
Properties and Uses. -- The bark is universally acknowledged to be alterative and emetic, and is especially recommended for scrofula, secondary syphilis (inferior, however, to Rock Rose or Stillingia), and cutaneous diseases, of which there are many varieties, some of which have and some of which have not been classified. The active principle of Alnus Rubra, as prepared for practitioners, is called Alnuin, and is most excellent in cases of dyspepsia produced by inactivity of the gastric glands.