Energetics: cool, dry
Actions: Lymphatic, Alterative, Anti-infective, Astringent, Pain Relieving
I’ve already emphasized Alder’s amazing ability to clear up stubborn infections of many kinds (toothaches, UTIs, vaginal infections etc., especially when used with Bee Balm) in several other posts. Here I want to talk a bit more about Alder’s very efficient ability to effect the lymphatic system as well as other systems that enhance elimination. I expect it is this strong alterative capacity that makes it so effective against infections as well.
I’ve found that small amount of Alder tincture (made from dried bark and cones) to be a powerful yet gentle way to move sluggish lymph indicated by swollen glands, slow healing wounds, chronic sore throat and other typical symptoms. It also has a remarkably quick action on all kinds of skin conditions, from PMS related outbreaks to scaly patches and red rashes. It works especially well with Dandelion for any hot, inflamed skin condition.
I don’t have the slightest conception of the biochemical mechanism here, but I do know from repeated experience that it works very well, even in children. I believe Alder contains some amount of methyl salicylate (as does its very close relative the Birch), which could account to its use for sore joints, headaches and other kinds of pain when used externally or internally.
Despite the fact that I work closely with several other well known Alterative/Lymphatic herbs like Violet, Mullein, Burdock and Cleavers I find myself consistently choosing Alder for most situations, especially when I need something to get things moving very quickly. I am of the opinion that it works even quicker than Redroot (Ceonothus spp) and that they make a superb pair for severe lymphatic congestion.
PS Because of the satellite outage, I’m not able to access all of our Anima and Bear Medicine Herbal accounts, so please be patient with us as we get this figured out.