Alder is fanned by legends and stories. One of the myths associated with the founders of the Eternal City of Rome, it is said that the ark in which Rhea Silvia sent the brothers Romulus and Remus down the river, was made of alder.

In ancient times it symbolized the alder fine line between underground and earthly kingdoms. Already later banned in many countries to cut alder. Perhaps this is due to the fact that alder wood felled from white becoming orange and red soon.

In central Russia often grows alder. Wood is not only adorns the landscape, delighting our eyes, treats, but also used for cosmetic purposes.

Alder, Alder gray - Alnus incana L.   - Deciduous tree up to 20 meters high, rarely shrub of the family Betulaceae. In alder smooth silver-gray bark and young branches, as if covered with gray felt.

The leaves are shaped like a wide ellipse or eggs, toothed on the edges, the top painted in dark green, glaucous below. Alder leaves do not change color in the fall, remaining green, and green is falling at the time of leaf fall.

Alder bloom in April - early May before leafing. The flowers are collected in the earrings. Men's long hanging catkins. Women sit on the leafless stalk on the 4-5-8 pieces. Alder is pollinated by the wind. Inflorescence green flakes to fall darken, lignified and form lumps.

   The fruit of alder-seeded winged nut. It ripens in October. Lifetime alder 67 - 80 years.

Alder grows almost throughout the European part of Russia, in Western Siberia and the Caucasus. He likes damp places, often it can be found near rivers and streams.

Medicinal raw material is the bark, leaves and alder cones. Alder cones contain: tannins, which in turn contain tannin. Alder leaves contain vitamin C, caffeic, chlorogenic acid and protokatehinovuyuya hyperoside, kvertsitrin ... In the bark of alder found: resin, tannin, triterpene alcohol. Wood contains: organic acids, alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids.

Preparations of alder from ancient times were very popular in folk medicine .

- In the XIX century, alder was used to purify the blood.
- During World War II stems alder was used as a good astringent for gastric diseases, acute and chronic enteritis and colitis.
- Modern folk medicine uses drugs alder colds, rheumatism, gout, food poisoning, diseases of the stomach and duodenum.
- Broth alder relieve headaches.

For cosmetic purposes   alder is used for oily skin, wide pores, scars, oily seborrhea, for better hair growth.

- Broth cleanser for oily skin
1 teaspoon of chopped bark pour 1 cup boiling water, bring to a boil and reduce heat simmer 15 minutes, turn off the heat and leave to cool on a plate. Drain, wipe face in the morning and evening. Or soak a folded in several layers of gauze and apply on face for 15 minutes. As the dry gauze, moisten it again. Wash is not necessarily immediately, but after half an hour, an hour.

- Toning Mask
Grind clean leaves alder, add 1 tbsp. a spoonful of honey and as much skim milk, to get a paste. Apply on face for 10 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water, wash cold.

- Broth to strengthen hair and get rid of dandruff
Pour 1st. a spoonful of shredded bark of alder 1 liter of boiled water, in a tightly sealed container for 1 hour.

- Broom alder cleanses the skin, disinfects, making it smooth and supple.

- Footbaths
Cnimayut fatigue, which is especially valuable in the spring and summer, when we begin to walk more and get tired of habit. For such baths can brew the leaves, buds, bark alder. 1 tbsp. a spoonful of minced raw pour 1 liter of boiling water in a thermos for an hour. Pour into a bowl with a little warm water. Period 15-50 minutes. Then wipe dry feet and grease cream or vegetable oil and wear cotton socks.
Author: Natalia Alexeeva