Populus tremula

Aspen has a columnar trunk that can reach up to 35m in height and several meters in diameter. The tree is burping and lives on average 80-90 years, rarely up to 150 years. Its wood is soft and prone to frequent diseases. As a result, it is relatively difficult to find large and healthy trees.

The tree's root system is deep and its roots develop strongly.

Young aspens have smooth bark, light green or gray-green, which cracks and darkens with age. The flowers are white with a hint of herbs.

The leaves are rounded, sometimes rhombic, arranged alternately. Leaves from 3-7 cm long, pointed or dull at the top, with a rounded base, the edge is variable. The petioles are long, which provides the characteristic quivering of the leaves. In autumn, the leaves change color - from green to golden-yellow and brown-red.

Aspen is a unisex plant. The flowers are small, inexpressive, arranged in spikes. Male scales are reddish in color, up to 15 cm long, female scales are greenish, slimmer than men's. Aspen blooms before its leaves bloom, usually at the end of April - beginning of May. The seeds mature after 35 days, then they are dispersed by the wind. They germinate in 1-2 days on moist soil. Aspen matures to flowering in 10-12 years, after which flowering and seed maturation occur annually.

Fruits are small boxes, inside which are seeds covered with feathers.

The Aspen blooms until the moment when its leaves begin to appear. The leaves are harvested in early May or June. The leaves are dried in the shade or in forced dryers at a temperature not exceeding 60C. Buds are harvested until they bloom (drying is done in forced dryers or ovens).

Aspen bark is collected not only from young trees, 7-8 cm thick, but also from thin twigs, starting from April 20 to June 1 - during sap.

The collected bark is cut into pieces up to 3-4 cm long, dried on sieves or in a dryer, not exceeding 60C. The bark should not be dried in the sun, as it will lose its valuable properties. The collected drug may be stored for no longer than 3 years.

Aspen leaves contain glycosides, including salicin, carotene, and ascorbic acid, proteins, fats, and fiber.

Glycosides (salicin, salicorotin, tremulacin, bitter glycosides, populin), essential oil, pectins, salicylase, tannins are found in the bark. Aspen bark contains many valuable trace elements: copper, molybdenum, cobalt, zinc, iron, iodine, nickel.

Aspen buds contain glycosides salicin and populin, benzoic and malic acid, tannins, essential oil, carbohydrates and other compounds.

Aspen wood contains cellulose, nectazane and resins.

The leaves contain carbohydrates, organic acids, carotenoids, vitamin C, carotene, flavonoids, phenolglycosides, anthocyanins and tannins.

Medicinal significance

Aspen bark contains biologically active substances that determine its pharmacological properties.

Phenol glycosides can be used as anthelmintic agents (especially against opistrhoza), tannins and organic acids, essential oils and bitter substances give the plant choleretic, anti-inflammatory, bactericidal and spasmolytic properties.

A decoction of aspen bark has a beneficial effect on liver function, helps to remove small stones from the gall bladder.

Aspen extract contains a large amount of vitamin C, so using ordinary aspen remedies can supplement its deficiency.

Phenolglycosides, saligenin derivatives - salicin, populin, tremuloidin, tremulacin, salicortin give the plant antihelmintic properties.

Aspen extract has a special effect on helminths: it penetrates the parasite through its skin, destroys the structure of their internal organs, thus killing the parasite.

Clinical studies that determined the effect of the bark extract on helminths also investigated the toxicity of the plant and determined that the bark is mildly toxic and does not tend to cause an allergic reaction.

Aspen buds, dried and ground into powder, mixed with oil will be useful as anti-inflammatory and wound-healing agents, for softening burns, chronic ulcers and hemorrhoidal nodes. Folk scientists recommend drinking aspen buds in water for the treatment of joint diseases, cystitis, urinary incontinence (pregnant women and women who have given birth many times), as well as prostate adenoma.

Alcoholic extract of aspen is used for gastritis, dysentery, hemorrhoids. Ground buds are included in ointments that help treat bruises, trophic ulcers, hemorrhoids and joint diseases.

In folk medicine, a decoction of aspen bark is recommended for diarrhea, colds and coughs. This position is also used to relieve toothache.

A decoction of aspen bark is considered a good remedy for scurvy, hernias, syphilis and fever in folk medicine. Bark decoctions are used to treat gastritis, diarrhea, diabetes, pancreatitis, edema of various origins, pulmonary tuberculosis.

In Tibetan medicine, aspen bark is used to treat prostate cancer.

In case of neuralgia, radiculitis, sciatica, decoctions of fresh tree bark in baths are very useful.

The ash of aspen bark is added to ointments against eczema, preparations against adnexitis. Aspen preparations are recommended for prostate hypertrophy and bladder diseases.

The juice of the leaves is used orally for the treatment of rheumatism, externally for snake bites, in addition, they are applied to carps and scabies.

Young leaves are used as hot compresses on painful areas, in cases of gout, rheumatism and salt deposits in the joints.

Not recommended for use

Decoctions and infusions of aspen buds have pronounced astringent properties, so it is better not to use them in case of chronic diseases of the digestive organs, which are associated with constipation. Aspen preparations should also be used in case of dysbacteriosis.