• Buckthorn Bark

    Synonyms: Alder Buckthorn Bark, Arrow Wood Bark, Black Alder Bark, Black Dog Wood Bark, Buckthorn Bark, Common Buckthorn Bark, Frangula Bark, Glossy Buckthorn Bark, Purging Buckthorn Bark, Rhamnus Bark

    Family: Rhamnaceae

    Genus species: Rhamnus frangula (Alder Buckthorn), Frangula alnus, Rhamnus cathartica, Rhamnus catharticus (Purging Buckthorn)

    Type: Shrub or small tree

    Part Used: Bark from stems and branches

    Location: Europe, former U.S.S.R., former Yugoslavia, northwest Asia, Poland

    Actions: Anthelmintic, cholagogue, diuretic, emetic, laxative, mild cathartic, purgative, tonic

    Indications: Appendicitis, conditions in which easy defecation with a soft stool is desirable (anal fissures, hemorrhoids, after rectal operations), constipation, dermatitis, dropsy, gallstones, gout, intestinal parasites, rheumatism, varicose veins, warts

    Preparation & Dosages: (3x/day)

    Dried Bark: 0.5-2.5 g

    Infusion: 2 g

    Liquid Extract: 1:1 in 25 % alcohol, dose: 2-5 ml

    Contraindications: Abdominal pain, appendicitis, colitis, Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, diverticulosis, duodenal ulcer, gastrointestinal disorders, ileus, intestinal obstruction, irritable bowel syndrome, lactation, pregnancy, refulx esophagitis, spastic colitis, stomach ulcer, ulcerative colitis. Not recommended for children under 12 years of age.

    Drug Interactions: May antagonize antidiarrheal drugs. Due to the diuretic action of this herb the following drug interactions are possible: increased risk of toxicity with anti-inflammatory analgesics; if hypokalemia occurs possible antagonism with antiarrhythmics and potentiation of muscle relaxants; antagonizes antidiabetic (hypoglycemic) drugs; may potentiate and/or interfere with antihypertensives; may potentiate lithium therapy; when taken with corticosteroids there is a risk for hypokalemia; may potentiate other diuretics and increase the risk of hypokalemia.

    Side Effects: (Possible adverse effects and/or overdose effects) With large doses or frequent or prolonged use; cramp-like gastrointestinal upsets. Abdominal cramps, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting.

    Warning: Do not take for more than 10 days. Do not use during pregnancy or lactation except on the advice of a doctor. Long term use may lead to electrolyte losses, esp. potassium which may bring about muscular weakness and constipation. Can potentiate the effects of cardiac glycosides, loss of potassium is increased by saluretics. Can cause deposition of pigment in the intestinal mucosa. May cause severe vomiting, possibly with spasms, if not stored for one year minimum. If used before proper aging severe vomiting accompanied by griping may occur.

    Note: Laxative effect takes effect after 6-8 hours of administration.

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