Red Alder Medical Uses
Red Alder (Alnus rubra) is native to North America and one of the largest Alder species in the world. Red Alder can grow as tall as 100 feet tall. The bark and leaves are used to help identify this tree. The bark is mottled, light gray and smooth. The alternately arranged leaves are ovate about 4-5 inches long with blunt serrated edges. The leaf margin has an edge which is curled under. The male flowers are hanging reddish catkins about 5 inches long that are born in early spring. The female flowers are erect catkins which are considerably smaller.
One of Red Alders medical uses is that its leaves can be used to treat poison ivy, insect bites, and skin irritations. Pick green fresh leaves. Do not bother with old dead non-green leaves. Crush the leaves and make a tea with the leaves in hot water. Once the tea is made and has set for awhile to allow the chemicals from the leaves to dissolve, wash the affected skin with the Red Alder Tea. Do this repeatedly periodically until the affected area has healed.