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Buckthorn, or alder, is a tall shrub native to northern Europe. The bark
of alder buckthorn is removed, cut into small pieces, and dried for one
year before being used medicinally.
Buckthorn has been used as a
cathartic laxative in Northern and Central Europe for centuries. It is
still widely used today for constipation and resulting conditions such as
hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Buckthorn stimulates contractions of the
colon (peristalsis) and increases water content during stool
A closely related shrub, cascara sagrada, is more widely
known in North America due to its origins and cultivation on the Pacific
coast of Canada and the United States.
Stir 1/4 of a teaspoon into a glass of water and consume 3 times daily, with meals.
Avoid Buckthorn if you have an intestinal obstruction, an acute inflammatory intestinal disorder such as Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis, appendicitis, or any abdominal pain of unknown origin.
Not for use by children under 12.
Buckthorn can cause abdominal pain or discomfort. If it does, reduce the dosage.
Do not take Buckthorn for more than 1 to 2 weeks without consulting a doctor. Long-term use can lead to potassium deficiency, intestinal dysfunction, heart problems, kidney disease, swelling, and bone problems.
Avoid combining Buckthorn with other medications that flush water and potassium from the body, including diuretics such as Diuril and Lasix, steroid drugs such as prednisone, and licorice root.
Potassium plays an important role in regulating the heart, so depleting it through long-term use of laxatives can affect the action of certain heart medications. There could be an increase in the effect of drugs such as digitalis and digoxin (Lanoxin). Medications taken to steady the heartbeat could also be affected.
Consult with your doctor before using Buckthorn while pregnant or breastfeeding.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."