Buckthorn Bark: Flavor Profile
The oldest recorded use of buckthorn bark goes back centuries. It was listed in the London Pharmacopeia dating back to the 1600s. It has a variant of traditional uses, mostly stemming from the bark’s laxative-like properties. Unlike other herbs, black dogwood usually comes from the bark of the shrub, not the leaves or the stems. It is said that buckthorn bark stimulates bile secretion, and therefore, it has been used for ages as a dietary supplement to flush out the bowel and intestines. Buckthorn contains a compound called anthraquinone, which is mostly made up of glycosides. Glycosides are composed of one or more sugars combined with an alcohol, a phenol, or a complex molecule.
- Buckthorn bark, also known as alder buckthorn or alder dogwood, is a shrub that’s part of the Frangula alnus species, and it’s native to Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East. Frangula bark can act as a stimulant for the digestive system.
- A member of the Rhamnaceae family, buckthorn bark is always dried before it is ingested. Drying breaks down the anthrone chemicals found in glossy buckthorn. It is commonly made into tea or used to make a tincture. In France, it’s called bourdaine.
- Black dogwood, or buckthorn bark, is often bitter, but it can be combined with other herbs like dandelion root, licorice root, lavender, fennel, or star anise to cut its bite. Try blending one or more of these herbs when brewing buckthorn tea.
- Burma Spice buckthorn bark is imported from Hungry. It is dried, cut, and sifted with care to ensure the best quality product. Try our alder dogwood delivered straight to your door to experience the difference in packaging, freshness, and taste.
- The large wide-mouth gallon container keeps the product fresh and is sold at a bulk-discounted price.
Cooking with Buckthorn Bark
Frangula bark is not often used in cuisine. Instead, it’s used to make teas and tinctures. Check out our uses for buckthorn bark.
Buckthorn Tea: Bring 150 milliliters of water to a boil in a small saucepan or kettle. Remove the saucepan or kettle from the burner, and steep 2 grams of buckthorn bark in the water for 5-10 minutes using a mesh strainer. For an added punch, blend in 1 gram of dandelion root. Let it cool slightly before drinking.
Buckthorn Tincture: First, fill a pint-sized jar ½ full with buckthorn bark. Then, fill the remainder of the jar with 80-proof vodka or rum, or 80 to 190-proof grain alcohol, covering the herb by an inch. Stretch parchment paper or plastic wrap over the top of the jar and screw the lid on tightly.
Shake the jar every 2 days. In addition, top off the alcohol level if your roots peak above the liquid line. Let the mixture sit for 8 weeks before using. For ease of use, pour the tincture into glass bottles with droppers using a funnel with a fine-mesh strainer over top.
There are many ways to use your homemade buckthorn bark tincture. The best way is to place 1 to 3 drops under the tongue for 15 to 30 seconds. You can also add a tincture to any beverage.