En Español
Health Encyclopedia

Nutritional Supplement

Alder Buckthorn

  • Digestive Support

    Constipation

    Alder buckthorn is considered a stimulant laxative because it stimulates bowel muscle contractions.
    Constipation
    ×

    Only the dried form of alder buckthorn should be used. Capsules providing 20 to 30 mg of anthraquinone glycosides (calculated as glucofrangulin A) per day can be used; however, the smallest amount necessary to maintain regular bowel movements should be used.2 As a tincture, 5 ml once at bedtime is generally taken. Alder buckthorn is usually taken at bedtime to induce a bowel movement by morning. It is important to drink eight six-ounce glasses of water throughout the day while taking alder buckthorn, and to consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Alder buckthorn should be taken for a maximum of eight to ten days consecutively or else it can lead to dependence on it to have a bowel movement.2 Some people take peppermint tea or capsules with alder buckthorn to prevent griping, an unpleasant sensation of strong contractions in the colon sometimes induced by the herb.

    The laxatives most frequently used world-wide come from plants. Herbal laxatives are either bulk-forming or stimulating.

    Stimulant laxatives are high in anthraquinone glycosides, which stimulate bowel muscle contraction. The most frequently used stimulant laxatives are senna leaves, cascara bark, and aloe latex. While senna is the most popular, cascara has a somewhat milder action. Aloe is very potent and should be used with caution. Other stimulant laxatives include buckthorn, alder buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula), and rhubarb (Rheum officinale, R. palmatum).

What Are Star Ratings?
×
Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

Temp Title
×
Temp Text

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Alder buckthorn has been used as a cathartic laxative in northern and central Europe, including England, for centuries.3 Despite its decline in importance when the similar shrub Rhamnus purshiana or cascara sagrada was discovered in America,4 alder buckthorn is still used, particularly in Europe.

References

1. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al, eds. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998:95-8.

2. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al, eds. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998:95-8.

3. Lust J. The Herb Book. New York: Bantam Books, 1974:138-40.

4. Evans WC. Trease and Evans' Pharmacognosy, 13th ed. London: Baillière Tindall, 1989:408.

5. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al, eds. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998:95-8.

6. European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP). Frangulae cortex, frangula bark. Monographs on the Medicinal Uses of Plant Drugs. Exeter, UK: University of Exeter, Centre for Complementary Health Studies, 1997.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

Learn more about TraceGains, the company.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.