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Cascara (Rhamnus Purshiana)


Botanically known as Rhamus Purshiana, Cascara is a medicinal herb that falls under the category of deciduous trees. The plant mainly grows to a height of thirty feet with a moisture requirement of dry-wet conditions. This means that it mainly does well in areas that receive variable sunlight and shade. A mature and healthy Cascara plant looks very attractive with flowers and fruit enabling it to attract a variety of wild life. The herb also has an appealing fall color. In certain parts of the world where the plant is widely found like the Western parts of North America, it mainly grows among plants such that spotting it is not very easy.


Medicinal Uses

Cascara plant can be used as a remedy for a variety of ailments. In fact, even in places where it was first discovered, it was mainly used as a medicinal remedy. When looking at the medicinal uses of Cascara, it is also important to note that it can be used in various forms. Below are some of the various ways through which the plant can be used medicinally:

  • Treatment of Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Colon cleansing
  • The herb can also be used by pregnant women to help in inducing the digestive tract in moving the digestive materials through the bowel due to its laxative properties.
  • Breaking gallstones
  • Liver treatments



Dosage and Administration

In case you are intending to use Cascara, it is always advisable that you visit the doctor to be able to examine your condition first. It is only after your condition has been examined that it can be established the dosage that should be administered to you. However, it is important to note that the herb can be administered in either liquid or solid form. Taking just an unknown dosage of Cascara may have dire consequences on your health and so always consult a medical practitioner to give you clear directions.


For a home remedy for gallstones or constipation, it is advisable that you mix four tablespoonfuls of grounded Cascara bark in a glass of boiling water. Let the solution sit for about an hour then take it in the intervals of two to three times a day. However, do not exceed two cups each day.


Parts Used

When considering using Rhamus Purshiana, you should note that the part of it that is mainly used in the treatment of ailments is the bark. It is the bark of this plant that has got the laxative properties that makes it an effective herbal remedy. However, it should be noted that before the bark of this plant is used, it should be given a maturity period of one year. Others even prefer the bark that has lasted for even longer durations of time since that is when it is able to portray its properties.



There are several benefits of using Cascara. However, this may depend on what you  do with it and how you have used it. Below are some of its benefits:

  1. One of the benefits of this herb is that it can be used together with other products in making laxatives. In fact, currently, you will realize that most laxative drugs in the market contain Cascara as part of their ingredients. Such products are ideal for use after anal or even rectal surgery and the treatment of chronic constipation.
  2. Because of the laxative properties of the Cascara plant, it is very effective in increasing the secretion of bile from the gall bladder. In fact, the herb has been used in the successful breaking of gallstones.
  3. In other people, the Cascara plant has been beneficial in the treatment of enlarged liver among other liver problems.
  4. Proper use of the herbs can help in the soothing of stomach upsets.
  5. This herb is also very important in the elimination of gastrointestinal parasites that might cause infections in the stomach.


Side Effects

Just like other herbal remedies, using cascara can have certain side effects. Below are some of them:

  • Mild gastrointestinal irritation,
  • Diarrhea and
  • Intestinal spasm.


The side effects may only be felt for a short period of time. However, it is always advisable that you consult with your doctor first to eliminate any chances for adverse side effects.



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