The buckthorn is a shrub native to Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East. Buckthorn is never used fresh. It is collected in the summer, and then must be aged for at least a year to break down its anthrone chemicals. If the buckthorn is not aged, it is not laxative, it is purgative, causing intense intestinal spasms and vomiting. The herb can be artificially aged by heating or aeration, but some useful constituents may be lost.
1,8-dihydroxy-anthracene derivatives (in the aged bark), flavonoids, and tannins.
Properly aged bark. (1 year recommended)
Best taken as a tablet, can be used as a tea but is hard to drink given its bitter taste. May also be prepared as an extract.
Historically, it has also been used as a dye for textiles.
You should not use buckthorn or any other laxative if you have appendicitis, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis. Not recommended for children under 12. Not recommended while pregnant. Avoid long term use, and discontinue in the event of diarrhea or watery stools.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.