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Medicinal Plants 2023

Cáscara sagrada: what is it for and how to consume it

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Cáscara sagrada: what is it for and how to consume it
Cáscara sagrada: what is it for and how to consume it

Cascara sagrada is a medicinal plant widely used to treat constipation, due to its laxative effect that stimulates bowel movements and promotes the elimination of feces. The laxative effect promoted by this plant is milder than other natural laxatives, such as aloe vera or senna, for example.

In addition, cascara sagrada, whose scientific name is Rhamnus purshiana D.C, helps to increase appetite and has purgative, diuretic and digestive properties, and can be found in he alth food stores and in some manipulation pharmacies, in capsule or powder form.

Before using any type of natural laxative, it is recommended to consult a nutritionist and/or gastroenterologist and make changes in eating habits, increasing the consumption of foods rich in fiber and consuming at least 2 liters of water a day.

What is the sacred shell used for

Cascara sagrada has laxative, diuretic, stimulating and tonic actions and, therefore, can be used to treat constipation in the short term, as it restores the natural tone of the colon and promotes a gentle increase and regulate perist altic bowel movements.

When consumed, cascara sagrada releases a substance in the large intestine that is processed by the bacterial flora, producing the release of aglycones that act on the mucosa and promoting evacuation.

In small doses, cascara sagrada can also help stimulate appetite. In addition, this medicinal plant facilitates the expulsion of bile accumulated in the gallbladder, helping to reduce the absorption of fat at the intestinal level.

How to take it

Cascara sagrada can be consumed in capsule or powder form and the dose depends on the age and he alth history of each person.It is important to consult a doctor or nutritionist before consuming this medicinal plant, and it is normally recommended to consume 1 capsule a day before bed.

Sacred Cascara Tea

Another way to consume cascara sagrada is through tea.

Method of preparation: place 25 g of peels in a pan with 1 liter of boiling water, letting it rest for 10 minutes. Drink 1 to 2 cups a day.

See other recipes for laxative teas to combat constipation.

When not indicated

Cascara sagrada is not indicated in case of suspected pregnancy, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as it can pass through milk and cause diarrhea in the newborn, and it is also not recommended for children under 12 years old.. This medicinal plant should also not be taken with certain medications, such as digoxin, corticosteroids, arrhythmia medications, diuretics or cardiotonic glycosides, as there may be some drug interactions.

In addition, it should not be used in case of intestinal disorders such as appendicitis, intestinal obstruction, stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, stomach pain, rectal bleeding, vomiting or dehydration.

Side effects of cascara sagrada

Despite having many benefits, the use of cascara sagrada can lead to the occurrence of some side effects, such as:

  • Tiredness;
  • Abdominal colic;
  • Decreased potassium in the blood;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Lack of appetite;
  • Malabsorption of nutrients;
  • Nausea;
  • Loss of regularity to defecate;
  • Excessive sweating;
  • Dizziness;
  • Vomiting.

To avoid side effects, it is recommended to use cascara sagrada under medical advice and following the daily doses suggested by the manufacturer, which is normally 50 to 600mg per day divided into 3 daily doses, in the case of cascara in capsule.

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