Buckthorn Bark

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Buckthorn bark is made from the European buckthorn shrub and rhamnus frangula tree, which is native to Europe1, the western part of Asia and the Middle East. It has been used for medicinal purposes since at the 1600s, mainly as a laxative to treat constipation and other issues that may arise as a result of this condition, such as hemorrhoids and irritation.

Buckthorn bark powder is available as an alternative health supplement and may be used in the form of tablets, dried extract powder capsules or tea. The bark tastes sweet and slightly bitter.

Other Names for Buckthorn Bark

Buckthorn bark is also commonly referred to as:

  • Alder Buckthorn
  • Frangula
  • Alder Dogwood
  • Arrow Wood
  • Bourdaine
  • Rhamnus Frangula
  • Glossy Buckthorn
  • Nerprun Bourdaine
  • Nerprun Noir


Benefits of Buckthorn Bark Powder

Buckthorn bark is typically used as a laxative to alleviate constipation and any sub-issues that arise from this condition. The compounds in the bark, called anthraquinones2, work by increasing the colon’s ability to contract and reducing water absorption by the intestines, allowing more liquid to be left in the colon. As a result, larger, softer stools are produced, which then eases constipation.

Issues that may arise as a result of constipation, such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures, may also be treated with buckthorn bark powder. Since the supplement serves as an effective stool softener, it can make bowel movements less painful and more comfortable for those with these issues.

Buckthorn bark may also be used as a colon cleanser to prepare for surgical procedures.

How to Use Buckthorn Bark Powder

Buckthorn bark powder can be taken as a tablet, capsule or tea.

Recommended Daily Allowance

The typical dose of buckthorn is between 0.5g to 2.5g of the dried bark. Take only the amount of bark needed to produce a soft stool. It may also be taken as a tablet at the onset of bowel issues, which is the most convenient way to take the supplement.

It may also be taken as a tea by steeping 2g of the herb in 150mL of boiling water for about 10 minutes, though the taste may be too bitter for some. Alternatively, between 2mL to 5mL of liquid extract drops may be taken three times a day for no more than a week.

Buckthorn bark powder is not for long-term use. Ideally, it should be taken for no more than 8-10 days. If the supplement is taken for extended periods of time, it may cause low potassium levels, stomach issues, muscle weakness and even heart problems. If you experience very loose stools while using buckthorn bark powder, stop taking it.

Considerations When Using Buckthorn Bark Powder

Buckthorn bark powder is never used fresh, but is rather dried and seasoned before it's ready for consumption after the bark has aged to at least a year. If not, consumption of the bark could lead to uncomfortable and painful abdominal issues and may irritate the mucosal lining of the stomach and cause gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, diarrhea and muscle spasms.

Those who are currently suffering from diarrhea, abdominal pain, or intestinal disorders should not use buckthorn bark powder. Further, pregnant or nursing women or children under the age of 12 years should not take the supplement.

Anyone taking certain medications should not take buckthorn bark powder unless they have specific permission from their physician. Since buckthorn is a laxative, it could reduce how much medicine the body is able to absorb. A reduction in how much medicine the body absorbs could weaken its effect.

Always consult with a health care provider before using buckthorn bark powder or any other herbal products.

Supplementing With Buckthorn Bark Powder

Buckthorn bark powder can be an effective natural alternative to traditional laxatives sold as pharmaceutical products. It can serve as a natural stool softener and alleviate the issues that often accompany bowel issues.

As always, be sure to consult with a physician prior to taking buckthorn bark powder in order to rule out any potentially harmful interactions.

Buckthorn Bark Supplementation With Digestive Refresh

There are always certain instances where diet is not going to give you everything you need. There's no need to worry if your diet does not provide the necessary amount of buckthorn bark powder. Oral supplements are available for those who want to make sure they are consuming enough in their daily diet.

Digestive Refresh is a powerful, all-natural supplement that contains clinically-proven dosages of buckthorn bark powder, chromium, cinnamon bark extract and other herbs and nutrients. Digestive Refresh is specially designed to restore balance to your digestive ecosystem quickly and efficiently. Learn more about Digestive Refresh and UMZU's line of natural supplements by visiting our online showroom.

With crazy, busy schedules it is easy to be tempted by fast food, processed food, and an abundance of poor eating choices. With obesity and bad eating habits on the rise, it's more important now than ever to pay attention to what you put in your body. Your health is one of the most important investments you can make. After all, you will need it for years to come! Take care to make sure you are receiving adequate amounts of both macronutrients and micronutrients, as well as engaging in healthy exercise. Begin your journey to a healthier you today!

Sources and Citations

Michigan Medicine U of M. Alder Buckthorn. Michigan Medicine. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-3650004.
US National Library of Medicine NC for BI. Anthraquinone. US National Library of Medicine. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/anthraquinone.
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