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Only the dried form of buckthorn berries and bark should be used. Capsules providing 20 to 30 mg of anthraquinone glycosides (calculated as glucofrangulin A) per day can be used; however, the smallest amount necessary to maintain regular bowel movements should be used.1 As a tincture, 5 ml once at bedtime is generally taken. Usually buckthorn is taken at bedtime, so it will have time to act and by morning a bowel movement is induced. It is important to drink eight six-ounce glasses of water throughout the day while taking buckthorn, and to consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Buckthorn should be taken for a maximum of eight to ten days consecutively or else it can lead to dependence on it to have a bowel movement.2 Some people take peppermint tea or capsules with buckthorn to prevent griping, an unpleasant sensation of strong contractions in the colon sometimes induced by buckthorn.
The laxatives most frequently used world-wide come from plants. Herbal laxatives are either bulk-forming or stimulating.
Stimulant laxatives are high in anthraquinone glycosides, which stimulate bowel muscle contraction. The most frequently used stimulant laxatives are senna leaves, cascara bark, and aloe latex. While senna is the most popular, cascara has a somewhat milder action. Aloe is very potent and should be used with caution. Other stimulant laxatives include buckthorn, alder buckthorn(Rhamnus frangula), and rhubarb (Rheum officinale, R. palmatum).
1. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al, eds. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998:95-8.
2. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al, eds. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998:95-8.
Buckthorn is a tall shrub native to northern Europe. The dried berries and dried bark are used medicinally. The bark is allowed to dry for up to a year before being used, which reduces the potential of buckthorn to cause vomiting.
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2017.
|Supplement Facts |
Serving Size: 1 fl oz (30 ml)
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Total Carbohydrate||6 g||2%*|
|Dietary Fiber||1 g||4%*|
|Vitamin A (100% as natural beta carotene)||337 IU||6%|
|Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid)||7 mg||10%|
|Natural Essential Fatty Acids:|
|*Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. |
**Daily Value (DV) not established.