Lakes & Rivers
The cascara tree grows all over
People have used cascara
for centuries, primarily to relieve constipation. First peoples used it to
relieve the condition and probably passed the knowledge down to Spanish and
Mexican priests who arrived in the Americas in the 1800s.
It is still used
in herbal medicine for the same purpose, as well as to cleanse the bowels.
In modern herbal medicine, it is considered a stimulant laxative and has the
potential for abuse.
No one is entirely sure how
cascara relieves constipation and cleanses the bowels but Many people believe
the herb may irritate the bowel tissue and draw fluid into the intestines. By
drawing this fluid in, it produces a bowel movement.
There is some debate over
the proper preparation of cascara for medicinal use. Some people believe
you scrape the bark off the tree and
dry it for 1 to 2 years.
believe it is prepared by scraping the bark in the spring or summer, dry it
till winter and then let age for 2 years.
It is available today in capsule, tea
or tincture form. We think its best to scrape the inner bark when the sap runs,
March to October and then dry it for a year.
Those who are allergic to any
ingredient in cascara preparations should not use it, nor should those with
appendicitis, rectal bleeding, a history of stomach or intestinal problems
such as blockage, inflammation, Crohns disease, ulcers, severe
constipation or bleeding or those who have recently had abdominal surgery.