Advertisements
Categories: Medicinal plants

Cascara sagrada: origin, benefits and possible risks

Published by
lbobvalla
Advertisements

Cascara sagrada is a popular remedy to combat constipation. However, there are some concerns about its use. Find out everything about this plant.

Cascara sagrada, scientifically named Rhamnus purshiana,  is a shrub native to temperate North America. It has elliptical leaves, little toothed, that measure between 4 and 8 centimeters.

In addition, the tree reaches between 6 and 12 meters in height. Although it blooms and produces black drupe-shaped fruits, its bark is often used, which concentrates on medicinal substances.

In particular, it is known as a natural laxative, since it promotes intestinal motility to facilitate the evacuation of stool.

Advertisements

Still, its use is not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has some warnings about its possible risks. Do you want to know more about it?

Benefits of Cascara sagrada

Cascara sagrada is also known as “California sea buckthorn,” “sacred bark,” “bearberry,” or “yellow bark.” Since ancient times, the natives have used the bark of this tree for medicinal purposes, especially for the relief of digestive disorders such as constipation.

In fact, in the 1890s, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its initial use as an over-the-counter laxative.

However, this approval was withdrawn in 2002, given the lack of evidence on its safety and efficacy.

Advertisements

That said, it is important to note that there are not enough scientific studies on the properties and effects of cascara sagrada.

A review released through Phytotherapy Research details that emodin, an anthraquinone present in the plant, is behind its laxative effect.

This substance is responsible for inhibiting the absorption of water and electrolytes in the intestines.

Thus, the volume of stool increases, as does the pressure within the intestine.

Advertisements

The result of this process is the stimulation of peristalsis, which allows an optimal evacuation of feces.

However, the plant has been classified as a “stimulating laxative” and its effect is milder than other plants such as senna.

Even its mechanism is different from options such as psyllium since the latter creates a kind of gel that facilitates the elimination of waste retained in the intestine.

However, keep in mind that it is not currently an FDA-approved treatment to relieve constipation.

Advertisements

Still, it is available as a herbal dietary supplement or as an ingredient in prescription laxatives. It is estimated that it induces evacuation about 8 or 12 hours after consumption.

Natural options for constipation are not always authorized for use by competent bodies, as is the case with cascara sagrada.

Possible risks and contraindications

To calm constipation, this plant should be used only occasionally and in the short term. Its use is estimated to be safe and well-tolerated in most healthy adults. Still, some may experience abdominal pain or cramps when ingesting the remedy.

The most serious problems arise from the excessive consumption of cascara sagrada.

Advertisements

The studies determined that anthraquinone is harmful when ingested in quantities exaggerated.

It is also believed to cause melanosis coli, an abnormal blackish-brown color located in the colon.

If consumed for one or two weeks, it causes a significant loss of electrolytes that leads to a state of dehydration. Consequently, the following symptoms are also possible:

Severe nausea

Advertisements

Feeling of weakness or fatigue.

Headache.

Muscle spasms.

Advertisements

Heart rhythm disturbances.

Advertisements

Numbness or tingling in the extremities.

Decreased urine output

Confusion.

Rebound constipation.

Advertisements

Due to the lack of scientific studies, it is not known if it is safe in certain populations with special characteristics. Therefore, it is contraindicated in the following cases:

Pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Kids.

Patients with diverticular disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or severe hemorrhoids.

Advertisements

People with cardiovascular diseases.

Severe anemia

Recent colon surgery.

Gastrointestinal cancer patients.

Advertisements

People with liver or kidney disease.

Suspicion of appendicitis.

The simultaneous consumption of cascara sagrada with the following medications is not recommended :

Cardiac glycosides, such as digoxin, digitoxin, and digitonin.

Advertisements

Corticosteroid drugs.

Dehydration pictures present confusion, tiredness, and fatigue. These are some of the side effects of cascara sagrada.

Dosage and mode of consumption

To date, a recommended dose for ingesting cascara sagrada has not been specified. It can vary according to the age, weight, and health of the person.

Therefore, it is essential to follow the supplement manufacturer’s recommendations. The plant is available in the form of powder, capsules, tinctures, and teas. It should not be used for more than 3 days.

Advertisements

What should you remember about cascara sagrada?

You will likely come across cascara sagrada supplements when looking for complementary constipation remedies.

Still, you should know that it is not a first-line treatment for this disease. It must be used with great caution, due to the risks involved.

If you choose to consume it, you should not exceed the dose suggested by the manufacturer or prolong your intake for many days.

If possible, consult your doctor to find other alternatives

Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements
lbobvalla

Share
Published by
lbobvalla
Tags: advantages benefits contraindications disadvantages health side effects uses virtues

Recent Posts

  • Vegetables

4 Shocking health benefits of mizuna

Discover the 4 shocking health benefits of mizuna. Surely on more than one occasion, you… Read More

3 weeks ago
  • Medicinal plants

5 shocking health benefits of chicory root

Discover the 5 shocking health benefits of chicory root. Chicory root can aid digestion, regulate… Read More

3 weeks ago
  • Medicinal plants

Shocking benefits of Soapworts or saponaria

Discover the shocking benefits of Soapworts or Saponaria. Since ancient times, Saponaria has been used… Read More

3 weeks ago
  • Articles

4 Shocking benefits of laetrile or amygdalin

Discover the 4 shocking benefits of laetrile or amygdalin. In popular culture, laetrile or amygdalin… Read More

3 weeks ago
  • Medicinal plants

3 shocking benefits of Bupleurum root

Discover the 3 shocking benefits of Bupleurum root. Bupleurum root helps control diabetes and strengthen… Read More

3 weeks ago
  • Berries

6 Shocking health benefits of Schisandra berry

Discover the 6 Shocking health benefits of Schisandra berry. Schisandra is said to be a… Read More

3 weeks ago

This website uses cookies.

Read More