The buckthorn is a shrub native to Europe and the Middle East. It has been used as a laxative since the seventeenth century, and it was brought to the United States with early settlers for that purpose. Buckthorn is a popular ingredient in European laxative extracts, tablets, and teas, and, oddly enough, added to sun block. Buckthorn is never used fresh. It must be aged for at least a year to break down its anthrone chemicals. If the buckthorn is not aged, it is not laxative, it is purgative, causing intense intestinal spasms and vomiting. The herb can be artificially aged by heating but some useful constituents may be lost.
1,8-dihydroxy-anthracene derivatives (in the aged bark), flavonoids, and tannins.
Properly aged bark. (1 year recommended)
Best taken as a tablet, can be used as a tea but is hard to drink given its bitter taste. May also be prepared as an extract.
The 1,8-dihydroxy-anthracenes in buckthorn act on the nerves in the intestinal tract, numbing the nerves that hold back stool and stimulating the nerves that propel stool downward. If you experience cramping, youÍve used too much.
For educational purposes only
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.