Nothing compares to the healing power of nature. Almost every health problem can be addressed in one natural way or another. Digestive issues rank among the ones that can be dealt with through the selection of herbal remedies.
Cascara sagrada is one of the natural options that can be used to deal with digestive issues, particularly constipation. The extract is derived from plant bark and it has mild laxative properties.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your digestion, the following information will come in handy.
An Overview Of Cascara Sagrada
Cascada sagrada is an extract derived from the bark of Rhamnus purshiana – a tree that inhabits the Pacific Northwest region. Cascara sagrada is a Spanish phrase that means “sacred bark.”
The Spanish explorers that interacted with Indian tribes were the ones to come up with the name for the powerful, medicinal extract.
For centuries, native tribes had been using cascara sagrada to address constipation and other digestive issues. The settlers quickly learned from their wisdom, turning the bark powder in an even more popular natural remedy.
Today, cascara sagrada is included in the composition of various OTC laxatives that stimulate the intestines to contract (thus, inducing a bowel movement).
Since this is a mild, herbal purgative, it’s often combined with more powerful laxatives to deliver the desired results.
The Main Health Benefits of Cascara Sagrada
This plant extract can be used to address an array of health problems.
Cascara sagrada is best when used to deliver occasional relief from constipation. Be advised that it’s not a smart thing to use laxatives, even natural ones, to induce bowel movements frequently.
If you suffer from occasional intestinal sluggishness every now and then and you need relief, however, cascara sagrada would be ideal for you.
The bark extract is also suitable for individuals that have to deal with hemorrhoid. If you’re one of these individuals, you probably know that constipation is one of the most aggravating issues in the case of piles.
Straining to pass stool can lead to bleeding, pain and intense inflammation. Thus, cascara sagrada can be used until the hemorrhoids heal.
There’s also some evidence that cascara sagrada can be used to treat a few other conditions like:
- Liver disease
- Certain types of cancer
Additional clinical studies will be needed to determine the exact mechanism in which the bark extract affects these conditions. Even without the evidence, some natural healers incorporate cascara sagrada in their practices.
Who Can’t Use Cascara Sagrada?
Since it’s a very mild laxative, cascara sagrada is considered generally safe for occasional use by just about everyone. Only a few people will need to be mindful about the use of laxatives or about taking the bark extract in particular.
A few people may be allergic to the bark and they should refrain from using cascara sagrada-containing laxatives altogether.
People that suffer from rectal bleeding, gastrointestinal inflammation, appendicitis and intestinal blockages are also advised to refrain from using cascara sagrada-containing products.
Talking to a physician before choosing one laxative or another is always a good idea, especially if you suffer from a chronic medical condition.
Cascara sagrada isn’t recommended for use by pregnant and breastfeeding women. There’s insufficient evidence about the way in which it affects their organism.
Though the laxative is a mild one, it may lead to an electrolyte imbalance. Thus, avoiding laxatives altogether during pregnancy would be the right thing to do.
There’s inconclusive evidence that some medications may interact with cascara sagrada. Once again – talk to your physician before choosing or using any laxative.
If you’re healthy, you can definitely opt for the occasional use of cascara sagrada. It will give you relief by getting things moving.