Common Names: Aulne Noir, Bitter Bark, Bois Noir, Bois à Poudre, Borzène, Bourgène, Buckthorn, California Buckthorn, Cáscara, Cascara Sagrada, Chittem Bark, Dogwood Bark, Écorce Sacrée, Frangula Purshiana, Nerprun, Pastel Bourd, Purshiana Bark, Rhamni Purshianae Cortex, Rhamnus Purshiana, Rhubarbe des Paysans, Sacred Bark, Sagrada Bark, Yellow Bark.
Scientific Name: Rhamnus Purshiana, Rhamnaceae, Buckthorn Family
Common Uses: Use as a laxative in people with constipation, Gallstones, Liver disease, Cancer.
*Warnings: Cascara is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when used for only one or two weeks. Side effects include stomach discomfort and cramps. But don’t use cascara for longer than two weeks. Long-term use can cause more serious side effects including dehydration; low levels of potassium, sodium, chloride, and other “electrolytes” in the blood; heart problems; muscle weakness; and others. Don’t give cascara to children. They are more likely than adults to become dehydrated and also harmed by the loss of electrolytes, especially potassium. Not enough is known about the use of cascara during pregnancy. Stay on the safe side and avoid use if you are pregnant. Cascara is POSSIBLY UNSAFE during breast-feeding. Cascara can cross into breast milk and might cause diarrhea in a nursing infant. Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as intestinal obstruction, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, appendicitis, stomach ulcers, or unexplained stomach pain: People with any of these conditions should not use cascara.
Origin: Native to the mountainous areas of North America from British Columbia to Montana and northern California, Idaho. Found in moist places, in the understory of coniferous forests, along roadsides.