Synonyms: Alder Buckthorn Fruit, Arrow Wood Fruit, Black Alder Fruit, Black Dog Wood Fruit, Buckthorn Fruit, Common Buckthorn Fruit, Frangula Fruit, Glossy Buckthorn Fruit, Purging Buckthorn Fruit, Rhamnus Fruit
Genus species: Rhamnus catharticus (Purging Buckthorn), Rhamnus frangula (Alder Buckthorn), Rhamnus cathartica, Frangula alnus
Part Used: Fruit
Location: Asia, Europe, former U.S.S.R., North Africa
Actions: Blood purifier, diuretic, laxative
Indications: Conditions in which easy defecation with a soft stool is desirable: anal fissures, hemorrhoids, after rectal-anal operations
Preparation & Dosages:
Powder: 2-5 g per day, corresponding to 20-200 mg glucofrangulin
Tea: 2 g infusion
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: With chronic use/abuse, potassium depletion may potentiate the action of cardiac glycosides. 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: With chronic use/abuse, loss of electrolyte, especially potassium, may take place. Pigments are deposited in the intestinal mucosa (melanosis coli). Berries can cause violent purgation and collapse.