Buckthorn bark (aka alder buckthorn), not to be confused with European buckthorn (aka common or alderleaf buckthorn/Rhamnus cathartica) or with sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides), is a strong laxative and liver and blood cleanser.
There are several other species of buckthorn that are commonly utilized in the West and in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They all share significant laxative properties.
The fresh bark, berries, and roots are toxic and are never used fresh. They can cause vomiting and cramping. But the aged, dried, or heated bark is known for its ability to stimulate the bowels. Bark that is dried and aged for 1 to 3 years is preferred to bark that is heated as some constituents may be lost in the heating process.
Chronic, ongoing constipation can cause pain, cramping, and other health issues. When you need a safe and pain-free solution, buckthorn bark may be just for you or someone you love.
It is especially valuable for treating loss of appetite, cramping, hemorrhoids, and vomiting due to constipation.
It is also used to treat cancer.
Find out more about the other commonly used buckthorn species from both a Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.