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Natrual Cascara Sagrada Extract/Best Price Cascara Sagrada Extract


Rhamnus purshiana (cascara buckthorn, cascara, bearberry, and in the Chinook Jargon, chittem and chitticum; syn. Frangula purshiana, Rhamnus purshianus) is a species of buckthorn native to western North America from southern British Columbia south to central California, and eastward to northwestern Montana.
The dried bark of cascara has been used for centuries as a laxative, first by Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, and then by European/U.S. colonizers. The chemicals primarily responsible for the laxative action are the hydroxyanthracene glycosides (particularly cascarosides A, B, C and D), and emodin. These act as stimulant laxatives, with the hydroanthracene glycosides stimulating peristalsis, and emodin exciting smooth muscle cells in the large intestine.
Cascara is a large shrub or small tree 4.5–10 m tall, with a trunk 20–50 cm in diameter.
The outer bark is brownish to silver-grey with light splotching (often, in part, from lichens) and the inner surface of the bark is smooth and yellowish (turning dark brown with age and/or exposure to sunlight). Cascara bark has an intensely bitter flavor that will remain in the mouth for hours, overpowering the taste buds.
The leaves are simple, deciduous, alternate, clustered near the ends of twigs. They are oval, 5–15 cm long and 2–5 cm broad with a 0.6–2 cm petiole, shiny and green on top, and a dull, paler green below; and have tiny teeth on the margins, and parallel veins.
Leaves, flower, and young fruits of R. purshiana
The flowers are tiny, 4–5 mm diameter, with five greenish yellow petals, forming a cup shape. The flowers bloom in umbel-shaped clusters, on the ends of distinctive peduncles that are attached to the leaf axils. The flowering season is brief, from early to mid- spring, disappearing by early summer. The fruit is a drupe 6–10 mm diameter, bright red at first, quickly maturing deep purple or black, and containing a yellow pulp, and two or three hard, smooth, olive-green or black seeds.
Medicinal use
Numerous quinoid substances are found in the bark of cascara. The chemicals primarily responsible for the laxative action are the hydroxyanthracene glycosides, which includes cascarosides A, B, C, and D. Cascara contains approximately 8% anthranoids by mass, of which about two-thirds are cascarosides. The hydroxyanthracene glycosides act as a stimulant laxative by exciting peristalsis in the colon. They trigger peristalsis by inhibiting the absorption of water and electrolytes in the large intestine, which increases the volume of the bowel's contents, leading to increased pressure.
The hydroxyanthracene glycosides are not readily absorbed in the small intestine but are hydrolyzed by intestinal flora to a form that is partly absorbed in the colon. Hydrolysis of the cascarosides results in the formation of aloins such as barbaloin and chrysaloin. Some of the chemical constituents present in the bark may be excreted by the kidney following medicinal use, resulting in a harmless change in the color of the urine.
Studies have shown that the extract from cascara bark also contains a substance called emodin, which may have anti-cancer effects. Emodin is also responsible for some of the laxative effect, due to its excitation of smooth muscle cells in the large intestine.
FDA regulation
Cascara Sagrada was used by Native Americans for centuries, and was accepted into medical practice in the United States in 1877, and by 1890 had replaced the berries of the European buckthorn (R. cathartica) as a commonly used laxative. It was the principal ingredient in many commercial, over-the-counter laxatives in North American pharmacies until 9 May 2002, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule banning the use of aloe and Cascara Sagrada as laxative ingredients in over-the-counter drug products. Use of Cascara Sagrada has been associated with abdominal pain and diarrhea; it is also potentially carcinogenic. Another study in 1999 states it is not carcinogenic. Aloe emodin one of the constituents of Cascara Sagrada, is present in Aloe Vera and may increase the carcinogenicity of some kinds of radiation, but have a marked anti-viral effect in vitro against both herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 and 2.
In July 2003, the FDA responded to a citizen's petition filed against the May 2002 final ruling banning the use of cascara sagrada in OTC laxatives by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and International Aloe Science Council (IASC) (June 2002, CP25) and subsequent data submissions that occurred in October 2002 (SUP14)and December 2002 (SUP15)). In this letter the FDA stated that the American Herbal Products Association Botanical Safety Handbook (1997), the one cited to the FDA in CP25, contained only general information similar to information they already had in 1975. Upon further evaluation of all submitted information it found inadequate support for the petition that cascara sagrada should be generally recognized as safe and effective for OTC use as a laxative.
In September 2003 the FDA also responded to a petition (CP27) that was filed in August 2002 in which the FDA stated that "the agency does not find that the benefits of using cascara sagrada laxative ingredients outweigh the risks" and that the data contained in petition CP27 "do not rule out the possibility that cascara sagrada preparations are genotoxic and/or carcinogenic."