Have you heard about Cascara Sagrada? If you suffer from chronic constipation than maybe you have been introduced to it as a natural laxative. It is actually the bark of Rhamnus purshiana tree which is native to the western part of North America. This sacred bark as named in honor of its effectiveness contains anthraquinone glycosides which stimulates the peristalsis because of which the intestine do not get much chance to absorb the liquid from the stool and the body then produces soft and quicker bowel movement. Because of this, it is a very common ingredient in most of the over-the-counter laxative, but besides easing chronic constipation effectively there are many other health benefits of Cascara Sagrada which you should know.
9 Health Benefits Of Cascara Sagrada
1. Treats gallstone– If the gall bladder stone is in the initial stages cascara sagrada can treat it(confirm again). By increasing the secretion of bile, it is able to drain out the stone. Because of this property, the tea of this medicinal bark has been used since ancient times to treat gall bladder stone. Drink a tea of the bark of cascara sagrada 2 to 3 times a day to treat gall bladder stone effectively.
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2. Makes the liver strong– Liver is the hardest working body organ as it plays an important role of processing everything we eat or drink. The liver plays an important role in body metabolism, balancing hormones, cleaning the blood, maintaining healthy circulation and healthy digestion. Thus, it is very important to improve the functions of the liver. For this, drink Cascara sagrada bark tea daily. It will aid digestion, promote the secretion of digestive juices and keep the complications related to the liver, such as enlarged liver, jaundice, and cirrhosis of the liver away.
3. Cures insomnia– If you are suffering from insomnia, try drinking Cascara Sarada bark tea. By soothing the nervous system it makes you sleep soundly.
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4. Good for skin– Teenagers suffering from acne have also found the Cascara tincture effective in preventing and treating acne along with reducing the patchy skin. It also keeps the skin healthy, hydrated and fresh. The sacred bark has been found very useful in getting rid of the blemishes and wrinkles. It slows aging and thus makes you look youthful. Cascara is also used to make sunscreen products by various companies.
5. Treats hair problems– Not just for the skin, but cascara sagrada also prevents the hair fall and treats the flaky scalp, lice, and dandruff. Oral supplements of Cascara have also been found in preventing the blockage of the scalp pores which is considered an important cause of hair fall. If you want strong, soft and shiny hair use the tincture as a conditioner.
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6. Treats cancer– The active components aloe-emodin and emodin present in Cascara sagrada offers cancer-fighting and chemotherapy-enhancing effects. The antioxidants present in this herb fight free-radicals and kill the cancer cells. According to the university of Michigan, take capsules of dried cascara sagrada that equate to 20 to 30 mg of cascarosides per day. Alternatively, you may take ¼- to 1 teaspoon of cascara tincture every day. But do not take it for more than 8 to 10 consecutive days and drink plenty of water along with it. Having tea of sacred bark regularly may keep cancer away.
7. Weight loss– Struggling to lose weight. Do not worry and add this wonderful herb to your diet. Drinking Cascara Sagrada daily will help you to attain an ideal body weight.
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8. Flavoring agent– You may also use this wonderful herb to add flavor to foods. It is used in making frozen candies and dairy products.
9. Laxative– Federal food and Drug Administration has approved cascara as an OTC( over to counter) drug to treat constipation. It contains a chemical anthraquinone glycosides that stimulate the bowel movements and provides the laxative effect.
After acknowledging the health benefits of cascara sagrada you must be willing to add it to your daily diet but there are a few safety concerns to be followed before using it
The Sacred bark is usually safe for most of the adults if taken for less than a week, but its long-term use is not recommended as it may cause serious side effects like abdominal cramp and dehydration leading to decrease in the level of body electrolytes.
Thus, Pregnant and nursing women should avoid taking cascara sagrada. Also, children and people suffering from ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcers, appendicitis and Crohn’s disease should avoid it.
What is the recommended dose for cascara?
To treat constipation as a laxative about 20-30mg per day of hydroxy anthracene is recommended. This means that the typical dose of cascara sagrada is a cup of tea. You can prepare this by steeping 2 grams of sacred bark in 150 ml of water after chopping it. Strain this concoction and drink it. If you are taking a liquid extract of the herb than recommended dose is 2 to 5ml 3 times in a day. This is the smallest dose that will effectively maintain the consistency of the soft stools.
It is better if you consult your doctor before taking cascara sagrada and yes, do remember to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily along with it.