Cascara

Also indexed as:Cascara sagrada, Rhamnus purshiani cortex, Sacred Bark
Cascara: Main Image© Steven Foster
Common names:
Sacred Bark
Botanical names:
Cascara sagrada, Rhamnus purshiani cortex

How It Works

Cascara bark is high in hydroxyanthraquinone glycosides called cascarosides. Resins, tannins, and lipids make up the bulk of the other bark ingredients. Cascarosides have a cathartic action that induces the large intestine to increase its muscular contraction (peristalsis), resulting in bowel movement.4

How to Use It

Only the dried form of cascara should be used. Capsules providing 20–30 mg of cascarosides per day can be used. However, the smallest amount necessary to maintain soft stool should be used.5 As a tincture, 1/4–1 teaspoon (1–5 ml) per day is generally taken. It is important to drink eight 6-ounce (180 ml) glasses of water throughout the day while using cascara. Cascara should be taken consecutively for no longer than eight to ten days.6

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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