Cascara Sagrada comes from the bark of the buckthorn tree. It stimulates your colon to produce stronger contraction than normal. When it does this, it can work on the most difficult and chronic cases of constipation.
It is one of the herbal constipation remedies with a strong laxative effect. It will be found in many herbal combinations that are mixed for constipation. Cascara has Chrysophanic acid, which stimulates your colon wall to produce peristaltic action. Cascara also contains a chemical called emodin, which controls the strong action of Chrysophonic acid thus producing a balanced laxative effect.
If you use cascara in a constipation remedy mixture, do not use this mixture for more than thirty days. After 30 days take a rest from it. Do not use Cascara in large amounts and for long periods since it can cause intestinal distress and become habit-forming. When you use it, you will see results in 1-2 days.
Cascara Sagrada also stimulates secretions from the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and stomach. These secretions give Cascara additional laxative effects.
Do not use Cascara Sagrada if you have irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, or ulcers. Use Cascara for a limited time. It can become habit-forming and, if used for an extended time, it can increase the risk of colon cancer. Its use also causes you to lose potassium with each bowel movement.
If you have liver problems do not use cascara sagrada full strength. Use it in combination with other herbs. Cascara is known to put a strain on the liver.
You can take Cascara Sagrada as a single herb for constipation. As a single herb, it can cause cramping and nausea. However, I recommend you used it with other herbs. In an herbal combination, the combination can detoxify your colon, tonify your colon walls, cleanse the blood and produce other synergistic actions.
In Michael Murray, N.D., book called The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicines, he talks about the drug interaction of cascara sagrada,
“Cascara and other stimulant laxatives may decrease absorption of other drugs that pass through the gastrointestinal tract. If you are currently taking an oral medication, talk to your pharmacist or doctor before self-medicating with cascara. Cascara may potentiate the action of digoxin and other heart medications due to potassium depletion. The use of cascara with thiazide diuretics and corticosteroids may further decrease potassium levels.”
Recommend dose for the cascara sagrada, as a single herb, is 350 – 1000mg just before bedtime.
Use 1-4 cascara sagrada powder capsules a night, but do not use these capsules for more than 10 days. Start with 1 capsule a night and increase the amount each day until you get results you want.
For a laxative tea, use one teaspoon of cascara bark in 3 cups of boiling water for 20 minutes. Drink 1-2 cups of tea just before bedtime after it has cooled to room temperature.
Cascara Sagrada is a strong constipation remedy and will help you clean out your colon even if you have chronic constipation. Use it sparely and for a short time.
Citrus juices are a constipation remedy that is an excellent way to stimulate your colon and other parts of the body. Since your colon is less active at night, drinking juices as soon as you awaken and get up can stimulate strong peristaltic action and promote a bowel movement.
Lemons are filled with minerals, especially potassium, Vitamin C, and bioflavonoid. They have a cleansing action for the entire body.
Fresh lemon juice is the king of fruit juices. It contains citric acid, which acts in the body in a way no other juice does. First it acts on the liver to build up its enzymes so it can detoxify toxins in the blood. Then it combines with calcium to form soluble chemical substances. This makes it effective in removing kidney and pancreatic stones, pluck build up along artery walls, and other calcium deposits that occur in the body.
When the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas are not working right, food digestion is affected. This in turn will create constipation.
Use lemons moderately since they break up oils during digestion and in our body they make oils less available to our cells and joints.
If you have lemon allergies or ulcers then you should avoid lemon juice. If you have arthritis lemons are not a good choice.
Here’s what to do:
Squeeze one lemon into a glass of warm distilled water. Drink it first thing when you wake up. Don’t drink anything else for at least 1/2 hour
You can use a citrus press to juice the lemon or just squeeze it to get the juice out.
Another constipation remedy you can use is drinking a glass of fresh squeezed grapefruit first thing in the morning. Again wait at least 1/2 hour before you eat anything.
If you are taking any anticonvulsant drugs, birth control pills, estrogen, protease inhibitors and even other types of drugs avoid drinking grapefruit juice. It slows the breakdown of certain drugs allowing them to increase in the blood to dangerous levels.
Grapefruit and Orange Juice
One drink I like in the morning is a combination of grapefruit and orange juice. Just prepare a half and half drink of these citrus fruits and drink it first thing in the morning.