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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.
Gardeners hate it - herbalists love it! Couch grass is a pernicious weed
that spreads rapidly by way of underground roots and rhizomes strangling
everything in its path. This aggressive perennial grass is found in all
parts of the world and has been used in medicine since the first century.
Couch grass had many uses in traditional medicine in many cultures,
especially for kidney ailments, and the roots are still used by
traditional peasants in South China and Hong Kong to make a herbal tonic
tea. Couch grass is recognized by the German E Commission for kidney and
urinary tract disorders, and its benefits are supported by in vitro
and animal studies.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the pot, cover and let steep for 2-4 minutes. Pour into your cup; add milk and natural sweetener to taste.
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 5 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea itself. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into the serving pitcher straining the tea. Add ice and top-up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.
If you have water retention and swelling due to a weak heart or kidneys, do not use Horsetail.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids while taking this herb.
Not recommended if you are pregnant or suffer from high blood pressure or epilepsy.
Do not take Licorice if you have chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, or any disease that impedes the flow of bile from the liver. Avoid it also if you have abnormal muscle tension, poor kidney function, or low potassium levels in your blood.
When taken in high dosages for an extended period of time, Licorice Root may lead to excessive loss of salt from the blood, water retention, high blood pressure, and heart irregularities. Because of the possibility of these side effects, limit your use of Licorice to 6 weeks. The side effects disappear after the drug is discontinued.
Licorice can increase the potassium loss caused by the other drugs, such as diuretics that flush excess water from the body (Diuril, Zaroxolyn, others). This potassium loss can, in turn, increase your sensitivity to drugs containing digitalis, such as the heart medication Lanoxin.
Licorice may also increase the effects, and unwanted side effects, of steroid medications such as prednisone (Deltasone).
Do not take Licorice preparations during pregnancy.
Do not use Couch Grass if you have swelling caused by heart or kidney problems.
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.
More Photographs - Circulation Support Tea (Loose) - Buckthorn, Hyssop, Red Vine and More
End of More Photographs - Circulation Support Tea (Loose) - Buckthorn, Hyssop, Red Vine and More
* 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."