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Alder Buckthorn

Parts Used & Where Grown

Alder buckthorn is a tall shrub native to northern Europe. The bark of alder buckthorn is removed, cut into small pieces, and dried for one year before being used medicinally. Fresh bark has an emetic (vomit-inducing) property and is therefore not used.

How It Works

Alder buckthorn is high in anthraquinone glycosides. Resins, tannins, and lipids make up the bulk of the bark’s other ingredients. Anthraquinone glycosides have a cathartic action, inducing the large intestine to increase its muscular contraction (peristalsis) and increasing water movement from the cells of the colon into the feces, resulting in strong, soft bowel movements.1 It takes six to ten hours for alder buckthorn to act after taking it by mouth.

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.

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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.