Herb: Nepalese Alder

Latin name: Alnus nepalensis

Family: Betulaceae (Birch Family)

Medicinal use of Nepalese Alder:

A useful diuretic for reducing swelling of the leg. The juice of the bark is boiled and the gelatinous liquid applied to burns.

Description of the plant:


22 m
(72 feet)

to October

Habitat of the herb:

Forests in ravines, on stream banks and occasionally in drier localities, 900 - 2700 metres in the Himalayas.

Other uses of Nepalese Alder:

The bark contains 7% tannin, it is used in dyeing and tanning. It is used to deepen the red colour of madder, Rubia cordifolia. A fast growing species, it is suitable for plantation cultivation in tropical uplands. The tree is locally cultivated by West Java Forest Service to reforest eroded slopes under ever-wet climates. The tree establishes rapidly on areas subject to landslides, binding the soil with its extensive root system and stabilizig the slope. Wood - soft, tough, even grained, rather durable, easily sawn, seasons well and does not warp. It is used to a limited extent in carpentry, house construction, tea boxes, for making furniture, rope bridges etc. A very good timber, it deserves to be more widely used. In India the trees are coppiced every two years for fuel.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe and only just covered. Spring sown seed should also germinate successfully so long as it is not covered. The seed should germinate in the spring as the weather warms up. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. If growth is sufficient, it is possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in pots outdoors and plant them out in the spring. If you have sufficient quantity of seed, it can be sown thinly in an outdoor seed bed in the spring. The seedlings can either be planted out into their permanent positions in the autumn/winter, or they can be allowed to grow on in the seed bed for a further season before planting them. Cuttings of mature wood, taken as soon as the leaves fall in autumn, outdoors in sandy soil.

Cultivation of Nepalese Alder:

Forests in ravines, on stream banks and occasionally in drier localities, 900 - 2700 metres in the Himalayas.

Known hazards of Alnus nepalensis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.