Cascara sagrada is a cooling drying stimulating laxative. Cascara sagrada is very–very–strong. Much stronger than yellow dock. This should be avoided unless the need is dire. And, of course, as long as you’re not leaving the house.
Because this herb is so strong, it is advised to use on a situational basis rather than an ongoing one. This is not a herb to use for the longterm. It is advised to take cascara sagrada with a carminative like cardamom or fennel. This can help prevent griping.
The bark needs to cure for 1-3 years. Fresh bark is dangerously potent.
The active constituents in cascara sagrada are hydroxyanthraquinone glycosides called cascarosides. Cascarosides induce peristalsis, which promotes a bowel movement.
Cascara sagrada improves the flow of secretions from the pancreas, stomach, and liver to promote digestion and aid in elimination.
Cascara sagrada also increases bile secretion from the gallbladder. This can be helpful if you have gallstones, or as a preventative from gallstones.
The recommended dosage is 1-2 teaspoons of dried bark per 8 ounces of water. Decoct for 20 minutes. If you’re using a tincture, use .5-2 mL once a day. Again, this stuff is dangerously strong. You really need to be sure this is what you need before using it.
I have never had a need to use this powerful herb, but heard it is very effective. Have you ever used cascara sagrada?