Garden flowers, plants and shrubs

Kushina olkhovidnaya (Krushin fragile) Frangula Alnus Mill


The buckthorn is brittle or, as it is called by the people, wolfberry is often found in the forests of Russia. The plant has many names, among them the most frequently used are: alder-shaped buckthorn and in Latin Frangula Alnus. Wolfberry likes moist and wet soils, so you can often meet it next to a river, swamp or lake. The use of buckthorn as a medicine began in the XIV century. The most famous healing property of buckthorn is a laxative drug from the bark of the plant.

The myth is spread about how people became aware of the laxative effect of buckthorn. They say bears can not hibernate until they clear their intestines, so people noticed that animals gnaw the bark of one of the bushes - it turned out to be buckthorn.

Plant description

Alder buckthorn - It is a shrub or small tree that grows up to 7 meters in height. Young branches are red-brown in color with white lentils, old branches are light brown in color, and the trunk is smooth and without thorns. The leaves of the plant are sharp, oblong, shiny, dense and dark green, usually located on short petioles. Buckthorn flowers are white-green bunches.

Flowering plants begins in summer, but often you can find a second flowering at the end of the summer season. After that, Frangula Alnus bears fruit, the fruits look like black and purple shiny spherical drupes. Each berry contains two or three triangular bones.. It should be noted that the plant begins to produce abundantly from about 3–5 years of life.

Buckthorn berries are brittle, sweet in taste, but extremely poisonous. If for a person the fruits of a plant are deadly, then here the birds are happy to eat them.

Important. When poisoning with wolf berries appear pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. In this case, you should immediately call a doctor, and in his expectation clean the stomach and drink activated charcoal.

Medical applications

Preparations of buckthorn brittle are most often used as a laxative, which has effect a maximum of 12 hours after administration. Such a long-term effect can be explained by a rather slow splitting of the active substances, antraglycosides. And the therapeutic effect is not the above substances, and the products of their hydrolysis. However, such an effect of the drug is fully justified - the splitting and absorption of the necessary substances does not begin in the small intestine, but in the sections of the large intestine.

For the treatment of constipation, you can buy various drugs on the basis of buckthorn brittle in a pharmacy or you can make it yourself.. For the decoction is necessary put 2 tablespoons of the crushed bark of the plant in an enamel bowl, add 1 cup of boiling water and, with the lid closed, leave for half an hour in a water bath. Periodically, the broth should be stirred. At the end of the product is removed from the bath and allow it to cool for about 15 minutes, then filter and squeeze the raw material. Next, add boiled water to make a whole glass of liquid. Take this medication should be half a glass at bedtime - relief will come in the morning.

In addition, a decoction of bark is used to treat such diseases:

  • chronic hepatitis,
  • cirrhosis of the liver,
  • hemorrhoids without heavy bleeding.

Frangula Alnus decoction is also beneficial for diabetics and people who are obese,

To use drugs on the basis of buckthorn brittle for a long time is not recommended, as it is addictive. The use of buckthorn bark is strictly prohibited for people suffering from such diseases and disorders:

  • inflammatory intestinal diseases,
  • uterine bleeding.

In addition, the use of buckthorn is contraindicated in pregnancy.

Buckthorn harvesting brittle

Preparing a medicine on the basis of buckthorn brittle at home is not difficult, but you should stock up on valuable raw materials during the collection period. Bark is harvested only from young branches until leaves appear, the most appropriate time is early spring.

Board. How to determine that the deadline for collecting buckthorn alder bark has already arrived? Try to separate a piece of bark from a branch. If the process is extremely difficult, it means that sap flow has not started yet, you need to wait a few days.

Collecting the bark can be done both from the branches and from the pillars; in the latter case, it is better to first cut the tree to a height of about 10 cm from the ground. This method of cutting will provide quick and normal plant recovery. Ring cuts are made on the felled trunk, the distance between them should be about 15 cm, after which all the rings are joined by a notch, so the cortex will be removed by bundles. Before removing the bark, be sure to clean the trunk of moss and lichen. To cut the bark with a knife is not worth it, then it will remain pieces of wood.

After collecting the material, it is necessary to provide optimum conditions for drying. Sort the collected material needed before drying - weed out pieces of bark with wood and black. Next, the bark is laid out in one layer and left to dry. After the bark is completely dry, it is left for two years for draining or calcined in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius for about 1.5 hours.

Such measures are necessary for anthrapoles to evaporate, causing nausea and vomiting. The readiness of the raw material is determined by the slight bending of a piece of bark, if the bark breaks with a characteristic crackle, then the drying is over. It is worth noting that pharmacies sell ready-to-eat raw materials. The shelf life of the finished product - up to 5 years.

Important. Buckthorn bark harvesting can be carried out on specially designated forest areas, having received permission from the forestry department.

Thus, buckthorn is fragile - it is a plant that has many medicinal properties and fights against many diseases, such as constipation, hemorrhoids, cirrhosis of the liver, and also helps in the treatment of diabetes and obesity.

Pharmacological properties

The buckthorn brittle has a laxative effect with a long latent period. The effect occurs within 8-10 hours after taking the drugs. A large latent period is caused by the slow hydrolysis of antraglycoside enzymes and bacterial flora of large intestines in an alkaline medium. The glycosides themselves are apparently not active. Due to the fact that in the upper intestine the glycosides do not break up, the advancement of the food mass in the small intestines is not accelerated. Glycosides begin to disintegrate only in the large intestines, where the laxative effect associated with stimulation of the lower intestinal receptor is manifested. The effect is sometimes accompanied by pains of a colicky character or tenesmus.

With prolonged use of large doses of buckthorn, increased hyperemia of the pelvic organs can develop, and in pregnant women miscarriage may occur.


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In medicine

In scientific medicine, buckthorn bark and preparations from it (decoction, liquid and dry extracts) are used as a mildly (slowly) laxative agent, to regulate intestinal activity in hemorrhoids, rectal fissures, gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers, and liver diseases.

Alder-shaped buckthorn bark is a part of many collections and dietary supplements.


Olive buckthorn (lat. Rhamnus frangula L.) is also known under the name buckthorn brittle; it belongs to the rush family (lat. Rhamnaceae). Its scientific name comes from the lat. fragere - breaking, due to the special fragility of the branches. The genus buckthorn (Frangula Mill.) Includes about 50 plant species widely distributed in the temperate zone of North America, Europe, West and Central Asia, as well as in North Africa.

Botanical description

Buckthorn alder or fragile - branchy shrub or small tree up to 2-4 meters tall. The bark of young branches is red-brown, shiny, smooth, with lanceolate white lentils. Old branches and trunks are grayish-brown with grayish lentils, in the form of uneven spots. Under the outer layer of cork there is a red layer - the hallmark of the bark of this species. The buds are bare, have no covering scales. Leaves with early deciduous stipules, alternate, petiolate, whole, oval or obovate, entire, up to 8 cm long and 4.5 cm wide. Flowers on pedicels up to 1 cm long, small, greenish-white in axillary umbellate inflorescences. It blooms in May and June. The formula of buckthorn flower is alder - * × (5) L (5) T5P (3). The fruit is a juicy drupe, initially red, when ripe a purple-black 5-8, less often 10 mm in diameter, inedible. Two stones - rounded flat-convex with a gravelly, lighter beak. Fruits ripen in August-September.


Krushina olkhovidnaya or fragile occurs almost throughout the European part of Russia, in Western Siberia, the Crimea, in the Caucasus. It grows in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and in the extreme east of Central Asia. The most widespread in the forest and forest-steppe zones. It prefers raw deciduous and mixed, less often - spruce forests, thickets of bushes, banks of reservoirs, margins of wetlands and wet meadows.

Preparation of raw materials

The bark of thick branches and young trunks is used as a medicinal raw material. Buckthorn bark is harvested in spring in March-April, during the sap flow up to the appearance of the first leaves. On young branches and trunks, knives are carefully made with circular cuts (10–15 cm apart) and connected to each other by longitudinal cuts. Raw materials are dried in rooms with good ventilation, laying out a thin layer (5-7cm) on paper or cloth, stirring occasionally. Freshly harvested buckthorn bark is toxic due to the antranols contained in it. These substances, irritating the gastrointestinal mucosa, can cause nausea, vomiting and pain in the stomach. But during storage they are destroyed, therefore it is recommended to use buckthorn bark aged for at least 1-2 years in a dry place or after heating at 100 o C for 1 hour. Shelf life - up to 5 years.

Chemical composition

In the bark, leaves, buds and fruit buckthorn contains antratsenproizvodnye mainly as glycosides - antraglikozidy (frangulozid, glyukofrangulozid, frangularozid, glyukofrangularozid, franguliny A, B, emodin glucoside B, 8-glucoside rhein, glyukofranguliny A, B, frangulinantron, palmidine C, glucofrangulinantron, fision, frangulindiantron, glucofrangulindiantron, frangulinemodindianthron, frangulinhrizofanaldiantron). In the cortex, the content of these substances is much higher (5–8%). In addition, free aglycones, triterpene compounds, flavonoids, resins, alkaloids (0.4%) were found in the cortex: armepavin, frangulanin, in the branches - alizarin, alkaloids (015%), tannins (10.4%), sugars, malic acid, essential oil (traces), in the leaves - franganin, frangofolin, alkaloids (0.17) and ascorbic acid (2%), in fruits and seeds - chrysophanol and palmidine.

Use in traditional medicine

In folk medicine, buckthorn bark, also called buckthorn, sorochy berries, wolf berries, etc. used for the treatment of dysentery, due to alkaloids of a special structural type - frangulanin. Also in alternative medicine, buckthorn bark is used in diseases of the digestive tract (gastritis, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, liver disease), for the treatment of heart failure and chronic cough. Alcohol tincture of buckthorn berries is used for rheumatism and radiculitis for rubbing, and water decoction for skin diseases (eczema, boils, carbuncles, purulent wounds).

Buckthorn bark is a part of teas: laxative, antihemorrhoidal and gastric, and the root - choleretic and diuretic charges. Mature buckthorn fruits have anthelmintic properties and are useful in liver diseases. Buckthorn bark syrup is used in children's practice.


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