Rhamnus Purshiana is the botanical name of commonly called Buckthorn, Cascara Sagrada, Sacred Bark and Chittem Bark.
Cascara trees are mostly found in North America in places like Washington California, Idaho, Montana and Southeast British Columbia. These trees are grown in the Pacific coast of Canada and in some parts of central Africa.
Apart from being used as a medicinal herb, it is also used in food and beverages as a flavouring agent. In cosmetic industry, it is used in the manufacturing of sunscreen lotions.
CHARACTERISTICS OF RHAMNUS PURSHIANA
Cascara trees grow from 20 to 40 feet high and have serrated leaves. The bark of the tree is reddish brown in colour and is used as a herb. Small flowers appear during spring and the fruits are black berries which are poisonous.
PARTS OF THE PLANT USED AS MEDICINE
Dried bark of cascara tree is known for its relieving properties. The dried bark should be at least one year old to use it as a medicine. Fresh bark of the tree causes nausea.
One teaspoon of the bark powder should be used for steeping in a cup of water. If it is taken in a tincture form, 40 to 60 drops can be used along with water.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF RHAMNUS PURSHIANA
The bark of Cascara Sagrada has astringent, bitter and cooling properties. It is useful as a tonic for the digestive system and liver and it also works as a laxative.
- The bark is used for relieving constipation.
- It can be used for relieving digestive complaints, colitis, liver problems, hemorrhoids and jaundice.
- Bark extracts are useful to control nail biting habit.
Cascara is available in the form of dried bark, capsules and liquid extracts.
Cascara comprises of hydroxyanthraquinone glycosides which contain chrysophanol, O-glycosides of aloeemodin and C-glycosides. Minerals like manganese, calcium, potassium and vitamins like B complex, vitamins B2 and B6 are also present.
CARE FOR AILMENTS
- Constipation: Cascara contains anthraquinones, useful for relieving constipation. It does not irritate and works well as a laxative.
- Loss of appetite: As cascara has cholagogue properties, it is used for reducing symptoms of loss of appetite.
- Hemorrhoids: Some practitioners prescribe cascara to patients suffering from hemorrhoids. The herb is useful in expelling feces hence providing relief to patients suffering from hemorrhoids.
- Cholesterol: It is known to reduce cholesterol levels.
- Other Uses: Bowel cleansing: Cascara is used to expel toxic substances from the stomach. It is also given to patients who are supposed to undergo surgery for cleaning the intestines. Occasional usage may inhibit toxins to accumulate in the colon.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS WHILE USING RHAMNUS PURSHIANA
Cascara should not be consumed by pregnant women and lactating mothers. It is also restricted for patients suffering from intestinal injuries, irritable bowel syndrome, appendicitis, colitis, hemorrhoids and kidney problems.
If anthraquinones like cascara are used regularly, they may cause dependence. The body gets used to the medicine and the quantity of medicine should be increased for seeking the required result. In the long run if the person is using the medicine for constipation, it may lead to non functional atonic colon which is caused by excessive usage of laxatives. The colon loses its muscular strength and will result in chronic constipation. Hence, care should be taken while consuming cascara.
PLANET AYURVEDA PRODUCTS USING RHAMNUS PURSHIANA
Currently there are no Planet Ayurveda Products that have Rhamnus Purshiana as an ingredient in them; however the below mentioned Planet Ayurveda products are useful in some conditions for which Rhamnus Purshiana is used:
It is always advisable to consult a practitioner before using any herbs or supplements. We at Planet Ayurveda maintain stringent quality restrictions for manufacturing herbs, supplements and Ayurvedic medicines. We use 100 percent vegetarian and natural ingredients for all preparations. We proudly claim that we never use animals for testing our products. If you want to lead a healthy life style, choose Planet Ayurveda products.