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.
Having regular constipation can lead to some serious illnesses. Fecal matter should move through your colon easily and in a short time. When fecal matter remains in your colon for days, your colon becomes toxic and spreads this toxicity into every part of the body. In the bloodstream, these toxins interfere with the deliver of oxygen to the cells and tissues of your body.
If you have to strain and squeeze to have a bowel movement, you can damage the tissues in the lower part of your colon and the blood vessels in your legs.
In the Past
Over 90 years ago and more, doctors knew about the importance of a clean colon. In 1908 Eli Metchnifoff, director of the Pasteur Institute, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine. His research showed that pathogenic colon bacteria, bad bacteria (I will cover this in a later chapter) produced toxic secretions and by products, which acted as slow poisoning of the entire body.
Metchnifoff believed that toxic matter coming from your colon was responsible for every degenerating disease. His belief was so strong that he suggested that man’s life span was certainly cut in half when his colon was neglected and allowed to have excessive toxic producing bacteria.
In 1931 Dr. Joseph H. Greer, was telling his patients what to do to end constipation and how to prevent it. Today, nutritionists and other health practitioners are telling their clients the same thing.
In his small book, The Drugless Road to Perfect Health, 1931, Joseph H. Greer, M.D. reminds his patients,
“You must have ‘roughage’ to make the bowels move freely. Concentrated food (processed foods) and constipation go hand in hand, (and) then pills (laxatives) are used. More constipation and more pills, it is a vicious circle with bad results.
Don’t be afraid of cracked wheat, cornmeal, cut oats, raw cabbage, onions and celery. They are far better than refined flour and the package foods that flood the market. They may save some labor in the kitchen, but they produce constipation.”
Today, it is well accepted by nutritionists, Naturopathic doctors, and other alternative medicine practitioners, that constipation is a signal that cannot be ignored and your colon function must be kept efficient and well functioning. To ignore constipation for long periods of time can lead to some serious illnesses. Mostly likely you will not live to be a ripe old age and if you do it will be with some disability.
Constipation is a symptom you cannot ignore – even if it occurs only occasionally -because it leads to slow poisoning of your entire body.
Many doctors, for a longtime, have refused to believe that constipation can cause other parts of the body to become weaken and become unable to perform their function. You will still find Internet articles, anatomy books, and health books suggesting that for some people bowel movements in 3 days or more can be normal.
You do not have to wait for a disease to take hold of your body so doctors can see you are ill. Take responsibility for your health and don’t let constipation become a reoccurring condition.