450MG CASCARA SAGRADA BARK.
Now Foods Cascara Sagrada 450 mg acts as a natural herbal laxative. As a dietary supplement, take 2 capsules 1 to 2 times daily, with water or juice on an empty stomach. Consider taking this product in combination with NOW Psyllium Husk and Aloe Vera. [CAPS]
- Cascara sagrada (bark)
gelatin (capsule) & Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source)
What is Cascara Sagrada?
Cascara sagrada has been used for many years as an intestinal stimulant and bitter tonic. It contains chemicals called anthroquinone glycosides, some of the strongest laxative agents in the plant world. These chemicals work by irritating the intestinal lining, causing the nerves to fire and leading to muscle contractions, as the body attempts to release the irritating agent from the intestine. Cascara is commonly used as an adjunctive treatment during colon and parasite cleansing. It can be used for constipation but only in the short term. Cascara tastes bitter, when it is taken as a tea or tincture, which stimulates the release of digestive juices. Repeated use of cascara sagrada leads to the loss of large amounts of fluid, electrolytes, partially digested food and medication. Read the contraindications in the last paragraph of this article to make sure that it is safe for you to use this herb.
Cascara bark that is less than one year old should not be used because it causes stomach irritation. Manufacturers use bark that is at least 2 years old. Cascara sagrada can be purchased as dried bark, encapsulated bark or tincture. In order to help with digestion, bitter herbs must be tasted, like when you take in a tincture or tea. Encapsulated herbs are swallowed, thus bypassing the taste buds, and will not stimulate digestion. Cascara can be found in combinations for constipation and colon cleansing.
Constipation is not a disease in itself but it is a symptom of another problem. It is defined as difficulty in passing stool or the infrequent passage of stool. The resulting stool may cause pain and bleeding as it passes, because it is so hard and dry. Constipation is very unhealthy because it impedes the ability of your body to release toxins. Most cases of constipation can be improved with lifestyle and diet changes. If those changes do not seem to help then a further investigation should be performed to rule out more serious pathology.
Natural and conventional treatment of constipation involves the use of laxatives. Just because a laxative is natural does not mean that you cannot become dependant on it.
Bulk forming agents increase the bulk and water content of stool. They are the only laxatives that are safe to use every day. Psyllium, bran, flaxseeds, apple pectin and chicory root are examples of natural bulk formers. Stool softeners soften fecal matter so that it passes more easily. Pharmaceutical stool softeners, like mineral oil and docusate sodium, should not be taken daily because they can decrease vitamin absorption, alter drug concentrations and cause liver damage. Natural stool softeners are cold pressed oils. They also provide essential fatty acids for the health of the intestinal cells.
Diet and Lifestyle Connection
Lifestyle changes to help with constipation include regular exercise and stress reduction. Never suppress the urge to defecate. Do not strain to pass stool because it can contribute to hemorrhoid formation.
Tackling the emotional aspects of constipation should also be undertaken. It can sometimes reflect the inability to “let go” of certain things that have happened in a person’s life. Sometimes this emotional connection can even go back to trauma in childhood. Abdominal massage and hydrotherapy can be helpful to regulate bowel movements.
Assess your diet for irritating substances that may contribute to constipation. Perform intestinal cleansing to rid the colon of build-up and optimize its functioning. Drink 8-10, 8oz glasses of water each day. Start your day with a bowel stimulating glass of warm water with lemon juice. Consume a low fat and high fibre diet. Include fresh fruits (with skin) and vegetables, prunes, figs and whole grains in your diet. Avoid dairy products, spicy food, fats, processed foods, salt, coffee and alcohol.