Nutritional Supplements Library
What is cascara sagrada?
Cascara sagrada is a natural laxative that comes from the reddish-brown bark of the Rhamnus purshiana tree native to the Pacific Northwest. It was used by various Native American Indian tribes, who also passed their "sacred bark" on to Spanish explorers.The bark is harvested mostly from wild trees in Oregon, Washington, and southern British Columbia. The bark is aged for a year so that the active principles become milder, as freshly dried bark produces too strong a laxative for safe use; it also contains a compound that induces vomiting.
Cascara sagrada was formerly introduced into western culture when Eli Lilly & Company introduced "Elixir Purgans," a popular product containing cascara as well as several other laxative herbs. Traditionally it has been used as a folk remedy for chronic constipation, dyspepsia, as a tonic for the bowels, and a treatment for liver and gallbladder problems. It should be noted that except in usage for constipation, none of these traditional applications have been clinically validated. Cascara sagrada acts by irritating the intestines to produce wavelike contractions of the muscles of the intestinal wall. It is generally used with combination of other herb.
What is the effective dosage of Cascara sagrada supplementation?
Since everyone responds differently to laxatives, it is always recommended to start with the lowest dose. Be sure to drink plenty of water when using any laxative. For constipation and related discomforts such as hemorrhoids: 1 teaspoon of liquid extract three times a day or 1 or 2 teaspoons at bedtime.If you are taking capsule form ,a typical dosage of cascara is a 300 mg capsule taken in the early evening to stimulate a bowel movement in the morning. The laxative effect usually occurs 6 to 12 hours after cascara is taken.
What are the benefits of Cascara sagrada supplementation?
• Cascara sagrada is very powerful laxative effect. It eases constipation when it's taken properly and at a safe dosage.
• It is also believed to improve the muscle tone of the colon walls.
• It can soften stool.
• It may be used with dietary fiber to help maintain colon health
What are the side effects of Cascara sagrada supplementation?
Side effects of cascara may include strong cramping in the abdomen (due to muscle contractions, electrolyte imbalance (loss of potassium) and loss of body fluids, and dark pigmentation in the colon, called melanosis coli with longer term use. Call your doctor if you experience bloody diarrhea, discolored urine, vomiting, or prolonged abdominal pain after using cascara.
• Pregnant or nursing women should not use cascara sagrada. Children should not use cascara sagrada.
• Cascara sagrada should not be used for longer than a week in a row.