Rhamnus purshiana - Cascara sagrada (sacred bark), Californian buckthorn
Rhamnus purshiana

Indications & contra-indications

  • Antiparasitic
  • Laxative
  • Purgative
  • Constipation
Nutrient reference value:
No observed adverse effect level (NOAEL):
Suggested optimal nutritional allowance:
Dietary reference intake:
BHP indications: Occasional constipation, conditions in which soft stool is desirable (anal fissure, haemorrhoids).
Commission E indications: Constipation
Contraindications: Intestinal obstruction and stenosis, atony, inflammatory diseases of the colon (ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn disease), appendicitis, abdominal pain of unknown origin, severe dehydration states with water and electrolyte depletion, or chronic constipation. Contraindicated in patients with cramps, colic, haemorrhoids and nephritis. Do not administer during pregnancy or to children less than 10 years.
Cautions: For short term use only (1-2 weeks); use only if no effect can be obtained through a change of diet or by the use of bulk-forming laxatives. Do not administer during lactation without professional advice. Single doses may result in cramp-like discomfort of the gastrointestinal tract. May cause griping colic, diarrhoea, potassium and fluid loss, and possible hepatic reactions.


Dosage (dry herb): 1.5-3 g per day
Dosage (liquid extract): 20-40 mL per week (1:2)
Dosage (powdered extract):
Qualities: Cool, pungent.

More info & references

More information:
WHO: Short-term treatment of occasional constipation.

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