Buckthorn Herb – Uses And Side Effects

Buckthorn Herb

Buckthorn comes from the berries of Rhamnus cathartica, a thorny shrub or native to Europe and naturalized in parts of the United States and Canada. Juice from the berries produces a saffron-colored dye. The bark yields a brilliant The ripened berries are sometimes mixed with alum, resulting in a sap-green often used for watercoloring.

Once used mainly as a laxative, buckthorn now serves mainly as a dye. Its laxative action can be severe, and its use in humans was largely discontinued after discovery of R. purshiana, a related plant with a gentler action. Until the 19th century, buckthorn was available as a syrup, prepared by boiling buckthorn juice with mento, ginger, and sugar.

Common doses of Buckthorn

Buckthorn comes as a syrup. Experts disagree on what dose to take.

Why people use Buckthorn herb

Side effects of Buckthorn

Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of buckthorn:


Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you’re taking.

Important points to remember

  • Don’t use buckthorn if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Use this herb cautiously if you have digestive tract problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcer disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease. Buckthorn may worsen these problems.
  • Keep buckthorn berries and preparations out of children’s reach.
  • Know that gender and more predictable laxatives than buckthorn are available.

What the research shows

No clinical trials support buckthorn’s medicinal use. The herb’s violent actions and severe side effects suggest that its risks out­ weigh its benefits. Medical experts recommend using gentler, more predictable laxatives instead.

Other names for Buckthorn : –

Other names for buckthorn include common buckthorn, European buckthorn, hartshorn, purging buckthorn and waythorn.

Products containing buckthorn are sold under such names as Herbal Laxative, Herbalene, Laxysat Mono Abfuhr-Tee Nr.2, Neo-Cleanse and Neo-Lax.

Useful References

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