Buckthorn (Cascara sagrada / Rhamnus purshiana)

Traditional Indications

Buckthorn is a stimulating laxative, hepatic and bitter, purgative and tonic. Buckthorn contains anthraquinone glycosides and is a stimulating laxative, thereby improving the tone of the bowel in atonic constipation. Cascara sagrada is widely used as a gentle laxative that restores tone to the bowel muscles. It is considered suitable for delicate and elderly persons and is very useful in cases of chronic constipation. The bark also has tonic properties, promoting gastric digestion and appetite. As well as its uses as a laxative, it is taken internally in the treatment of digestive complaints, haemorrhoids, liver problems and jaundice. Cascara sagrada may be used in chronic constipation as it encourages peristalsis and tones relaxed muscles of the digestive system. It should not be prescribed for pregnant or lactating women, or patients with intestinal obstruction. (1)

Pharmacognosy

Cascara sagrada has long been used as an effective stimulating laxative in constipation (2) and is prescribed effectively for the safe and effective treatment of habitual constipation. (3)

 

1. PFAF. Cascara sagrada 2019.
2. Lithgow RA. Cascara Sagrada in Constipation. British medical journal. 1883;2(1176):68-.
3. Craig W. Note on the Bark of Rhamnus Purshiana (Cascara Sagrada) in the Treatment of Habitual Constipation. Edinburgh Medical Journal. 1884;29(12):1115-6.