Herbs > Cascara Sagrada (Rhamus Parshiana)
Also know as buckthorn or sacred bark, Cascara Sagrada is a shrub or
tree which is native to North America. The bark is
the active component of this plant. The fresh bark
contains an emetic (vomit-inducing) quality
which diminishes with storage or heat.
Cascara Sagrada one of the most efficient
herbs for relieving constipation. The most effective
way to take cascara Sagrada is as a decoction. Cover
1-2 teaspoons of the dried bark with 1 cup of water.
Bring to the boil, and allow to infuse for ten
minutes. This decoction should prove to be an
You will find that most health stores will have ready
to use products containing Cascara Sagrada for the
relief of constipation.
The decoction can discourage
children and adults from biting their fingernails.
Simply coat the nails with the liquid.
A slightly ber decoction
can help fight herpes simplex, or cold sores. Boil 2
tablespoons of the dried bark in 1 litre of water for
10 minutes. Allow the mixture to stand for a further
30 minutes, then strain and refrigerate it. Three
cups of this decoction should be drunk each day, as
well as wiping the sores with a cotton ball soaked in
the liquid. This is highly successful for driving the
virus into remission and preventing sores from
Excessive use may cause adverse reactions
such vomiting and cramps.
Cascara Sagrada should never be consumed by pregnant
or lactating women.
Individuals with peptic ulcers should avoid cascara
Cascara Sagrada is often collected in the
wild in North America, where it is a native plant. It
can be cultivated from seed, which should be sown in
Autumn. It prefers well-drained soil in sun or
partial shade. The mature plant is a shrub or tree
with a height of 3-12 metres. In late Winter or early
Spring, the branches should be thinned and the dead
wood removed. The bark can be harvested from even the
young plants in Spring or early Summer. Care should
be taken to remove only small amounts of bark from
each plant, to ensure continuing growth. Dry the bark
for at least one year before use to remove its emetic
quality. Alternatively, if needed urgently the bark
can be cooked in the oven at a temperature of 100░C
for at least 2 hours.
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The Complete Book of Herbs