Alder

Alnus spp.

Alor (Old English), aluʀu (Proto-West Germanic), ἄλιζα (áliza, “white poplar”) (Ancient Macedonian via Hesychius), Owler, Fearn (Celtic month), Ogham Tree (Old Irish/Pictish alphabet), Gwern (Welsh)

Native to

Varieties span south of the Arctic Circle to Northern Africa - across the globe, in the Northeast United States alone we have European alder (A. glutinosa), gray or speckled alder (A. incana), tag or smooth alder (A. serrulata), and green alder (A. viridis. Most often found near shorelines and swamps.

A majority of the Witchlist's Garden include naturalized species that now live across the globe, for history's sake we include it's nativity.

Parts Used

Note: The species is imperative to the actions, applications, and  parts used.

  • Bark (Year-round Harvest  branches after strong winds and storms)

  • Catkins (Harvest in Spring)

  • Leaf (Harvest in Spring)

  • Leaf Bud (Harvest in Spring)

  • Twig (Harvest after strong winds and storms)

Medicinal Actions

Note: When considering the Medicinal properties, do not forget that the species, application, and parts used are critical.

  • Astringent: causes skin cells and bodily tissues to contract

  • Tonic: Induces feelings of vigor and slight eupohoria.

Ayurvedic Applications

Species: A. nepalensis

  • Parts Used: Leaf, Roots, Bark

  • Chakra: Solar Plexus

  • To Treat: Dysentery, stomach ache, diarrhea

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Species: A. hirsuta

  • Parts Used: Bark

  • To Treat: Fever, homorrhage, alcoholism, and diarrhea


Species: A. glutinosa

  • Parts Used: Bark

  • To Treat: Fever, homorrhage, alcoholism, and diarrhea

Divinities & Mythos

  • Apollo (Greco-Roman)

  • Bran (Celtic, Welsh, Wicca)

  • Cronos (Greek)

  • King Arthur (Aruthurian Lore, Celtic, Welsh)

  • Odin (Norse)

  • Phoroneus (Greek)

Holidays

  • Celtic Tree Zodiac: March 18-April 14

  • Spring/Vernal Equinox or 'Ostara' to Wiccan and many other Witches: Typically between March 19-21 (N. Hemisphere) or September 21-24 (S. Hemisphere) annually

Plant Energies

Over the course of millenia, various religions, physical sciences, diviners and star gazers, etc. have come to assign energies. This is perfectly synopsized by JD Walker in A Witch's Guide to Wildcraft:

Plants can be hot, cold, wet, or dry. They are assigned to or governed by one of seven (or nine [by including the Moon and Sun], depending on your outlook) heavenly bodies. People assigned these characteristics based on where a plant grew, what it looked like, and what effect it had on the humans and animals that came in contact with the plant.

  • Planet: Neptune, Venus

  • Element: Fire (Greek, esp.), Water

  • Gender: Masculine

  • Taste: Astringent

Warning: Ingestion + Nursing

Yellow (inner) bark can induce vomiting in higher quantities of ingestion.


Breastmilk is potentially affected by Alder and therefore should not be used while nursing unless cessation is the goal.

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Magical Properties

  • Balance

  • Creativity

  • Confidence

  • Courage

  • Decision Making

  • Determination

  • Divination

  • Eases Fear, Doubt

  • Fairy Magic

  • Healign

  • Music

  • Poetry

  • Protection

  • Protection for the Dead

  • Release

  • Royalty

  • Shielding

  • Teaching

  • Weather Magic

  • Wind Magic

Talk to your Doctor/Medical Professional before adding any regular supplements, herbal teas, infusions, dedoctions, etc.

Part of the reason that we list medical jargin is because many plants can interfere with or even counteract medications we already take or it can exacerbate ailments we already have. 

When talking to your Medical Professional, we suggest asking what "actions" an herb might do to interfere with your health, either positive of negative. For example, if you suffer from heartburn, a Cholagogue which creates more bile may not be advantagous. Too much of a good thing, eh?