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Useful Temperate Plants

Rhamnus alpina

L.

Rhamnaceae

+ Synonyms

Frangula latifolia Mill.

Oreoherzogia fallax (Boiss.) W.Vent

Rhamnus fallax Boiss.

Rhamnus glaucophylla Sommier

Alaternus alpinus (L.) Moench.

Oreoherzogia alpina (L.) W.Vent

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Rhamnus alpina is a deciduous shrub or small tree that can grow from 0.5 - 5 metres tall[
1548
Title
Flora Iberica
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.floraiberica.es
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Published in book form, the treatments of the various species have also been released on-line in PDF format. Records entered here are all from the on-line PDFs.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.

Known Hazards

Species in this genus contain hydroxyanthracene derivatives which have a stimulant laxative effect upon the body, and many species are used traditionally as laxatives. In small doses, and for short periods, these can be safe and effective, but used over long periods they can weaken the body's natural ability to defecate and can have a range of long-lasting negative effects upon the body, including anaemia, malabsorption, haematuria and weight loss. Large single doses can cause severe purging.

Botanical References

1548
Title
Flora Iberica
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.floraiberica.es
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Published in book form, the treatments of the various species have also been released on-line in PDF format. Records entered here are all from the on-line PDFs.

Range

Mediterranean region - Spain to Greece, Turkey and the Levant; Morocco, Algeria

Habitat

Ledges and deep fissures on rocky ground, clearings in pine and beech forests, ravine bottoms, gravel banks by rivers, occupying more shady positions in mountains to the south of its range[
1548
Title
Flora Iberica
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.floraiberica.es
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Published in book form, the treatments of the various species have also been released on-line in PDF format. Records entered here are all from the on-line PDFs.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Shrub
Height3.00 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Rhamnus alpina is a moderately cold-hardy plant, able to tolerate temperatures down to around -20°c when fully dormant[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Usually found in calcareous soils in the wild[
1645
Title
Rhamnus alpinus Leaf Extract Suppresses Lipopolysaccharide-Induced, Monocyte-Derived Macrophage Chemokine Secretion
Publication
Inflammation, Vol. 31, No. 5, October 2008
Author
Chiavaroli A. et al
Website
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10753-008-9080-4
Publisher
 
Year
2008
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The fruits and bark are purgative[
526
Title
An Illustrated Dictionary of Medicine, Biology and Allied Sciences.
Publication
 
Author
Gould G.M.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
P. Blakiston's Son & Co.; Philadelphia.
Year
1907
ISBN
 
Description
A major work at the time, though very dated now. Contains quite a lot of information about medicinal plant uses.
].

An aqueous extract of the leaves has shown antiinflammatory activity and a dose-dependant effect in the treatment of periodontitis[
1645
Title
Rhamnus alpinus Leaf Extract Suppresses Lipopolysaccharide-Induced, Monocyte-Derived Macrophage Chemokine Secretion
Publication
Inflammation, Vol. 31, No. 5, October 2008
Author
Chiavaroli A. et al
Website
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10753-008-9080-4
Publisher
 
Year
2008
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

All parts of the plant have been reported to contain high concentrations of anthraquinones, anthraglucosides, and cyclitols[
1645
Title
Rhamnus alpinus Leaf Extract Suppresses Lipopolysaccharide-Induced, Monocyte-Derived Macrophage Chemokine Secretion
Publication
Inflammation, Vol. 31, No. 5, October 2008
Author
Chiavaroli A. et al
Website
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10753-008-9080-4
Publisher
 
Year
2008
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Other Uses

We have no specific information for this species, but all the members of this genus contain a mixture of compounds (mainly rhamnetin, quercitin and rhamnazin) that make a range of good quality dyes. The colour and its intensity depend upon what part of the plant is used as dyeing material (leaves, fruits and bark are most commonly used), at what period of growth it is collected and in what state it is used. With the use of the corresponding mordants (alum, copper and iron vitriols, tin dioxide, chromium, etc.) it is possible to obtain virtually the entire spectrum of colours from lemon-yellow to purple and dark cinnamon-brown, from olive-green to intensive blue and violet[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The dye extracts obtained from the bark, leaves and fruits are suitable for dyeing cottons, silks, woollens, leather, paper and wood. These dyes are often exceptional for their fastness[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Many European species also possess another valuable quality - they yield a beautiful 'smoky' hue to silks and cottons and are therefore often added to other natural and artificial dyes[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Although we have seen no specific information for this species, the seeds of Rhamnus species are generally rich in fatty oil and several of them are extracted for use as lubricating oils etc[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed will require 1 - 2 months stratification at 5°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame[
113
Title
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
Publication
 
Author
Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W.
Publisher
Athens Ga. Varsity Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0942375009
Description
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
].
Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, autumn in a frame.
Layering in early spring[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-10-18. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Rhamnus+alpina>

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