Cascara is an official herb in many countries for relieving chronic constipation.
- Basic Botanical Info of Cascara sagrada.
- Description of the herb cascara sagrada.
- Rhamnus Purshiana:Botanical Source and History.
- Phytochemical and Compositions:Cascara sagrada.
- Traditional Use of Cascara Sagrada.
- Current Status of Cascara Sagrada.
- Cascara sagrada Therapeutic uses and health benefit.
- Administration and Suggestions:Cascara sagrada.
- Related Species and Pharmaceutical Preparations:Cascara sagrada.
- Research Update:Cascara Sagrada.
Traditional Use of Cascara Sagrada.:
Long used as a laxative by Native American groups of the northwest Pacific coast, cascara sagrada bark was not introduced into formal medical practice in the United States until 1877. It is still used in over-the-counter laxatives available over the counter in the United States.
Cascara sagrada was formerly introduced into western culture when Eli Lilly and Company introduced "Elixir Purgans," a popular product containing cascara as well as several other laxative herbs.
The most notable constituents in cascara sagrada are hydroxyanthraquinone glycosides called cascarosides. Cascarosides exhibit a cathartic effect that induces the large intestine to increase its muscular contraction (peristalsis), causing a bowel movement. Other important constituents include resins, tannins, and lipids which make up the majoriy of the other bark ingredients.
Today, many common laxatives use cascara sagrada as an ingredient. To use cascara sagrada as a laxative, the bark must be carefully prepared by curing for at least one year or heated and dried to speed up the aging process. Aging is essential because fresh cascara sagrada is irritating to the gastrointestinal system, causing vomiting and upset stomach.
Cascara sagrada is recognized as safe and effective by most medical and health professionals.
The name cascara sagrada is Spanish for "sacred bark". Long used as a laxative by Native American groups of the northwest Pacific coast, cascara sagrada bark was not introduced into formal medical practice in the United States until 1877. In 1890, it replaced the berries of the European buckthorn (R. catharticus) as an official laxative. It is still used in over-the-counter laxatives available in every pharmacy in the United States.
Actions: mild purgative, stimulating laxative (with a gentler action than others in its class), bitter digestive tonic, stomachic, cholagogue, antiparasitic
Indications: Atonic constipation, especially habitual constipation, dyspepsia, digestive complaints and in the treatment of haemorrhoids. It has also been used for gallstones and liver ailments.
History and Usage: Cascara Sagrada is a natural laxative and colon cleanser that provides gentle overnight relief of mild constipation. Today, numerous over-the-counter laxatives feature cascara sagrada as a key ingredient. To work properly, the bark must be carefully prepared--cured for at least one year or heated and dried to speed up the aging process. Aging is essential because the fresh bark is very irritating to the gastrointestinal system, causing vomiting and intestinal spasms.
Our Cascara Sagrada is aged for one year to optimize the active constituents. The bark is peeled from the trees of the pacific Northwest.
Other: Holmes lists Cascara Sagrada as bitter, a bit astringent, cold and moist; with secondary qualities of stimulating, restoring, dissolving, cleansing sinking movement. It enters the Liver, Gall Bladder, Small Intestine, Stomach and Colon meridians; influencing the liver, gall bladder, stomach and small intestine. Its organism is warmth. Tierra lists it as cold and bitter; influencing the spleen, stomach, liver and colon.
Folklore: This herb has been applied traditionally as a laxative and also as a bitter tonic. It was also used for gallstones, liver ailments, hemorrhoids and the stimulation of digestion. Cascara has been heavily recommended since the mid-1800`s by Eclectic physicians in North America.Well over a dozen Western North American Indian tribes used Cascara. Not surprisingly, they found its cathartic and laxative effect most useful.
- 1.Cascara is an official herb in many countries for relieving chronic constipation.
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