ALDER BUCKTHORN

ALDER BUCKTHORN
Alder buckthorn, also known as Rhamnus frangula, is a plant that is often used for its laxative properties. It contains compounds like anthraquinones that help promote bowel movement and alleviate constipation. Please note that it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal supplements.
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Uses & Effectiveness

Overview

Alder buckthorn is a shrub that grows in parts of Europe and North America. The aged or heated bark of the plant is used to make medicine. Don't confuse alder buckthorn with European buckthorn, sea buckthorn, or cascara.

Alder buckthorn is mainly used for constipation. It is also used as a tonic or as an ingredient in the Hoxsey cancer formula, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Alder buckthorn, also known as Rhamnus frangula, contains a compound called emodin which has been found to have potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it has been used for centuries as a natural laxative and is believed to promote healthy digestion.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Alder buckthorn is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth for less than 8-10 days. Some people get uncomfortable cramps from alder buckthorn. If you experience diarrhea or watery stools while using alder buckthorn, stop taking it. The fresh bark can cause severe vomiting. Make sure you are using a bark product that is at least one year old or has been heat processed. Taking alder buckthorn by mouth for more than 8-10 days is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. It might cause low potassium, heart problems, stomach problems, muscle weakness, blood in the urine, and other side effects.

Interactions

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with ALDER BUCKTHORN

    Alder buckthorn is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives can decrease potassium levels in the body. Low potassium levels can increase the risk of side effects of digoxin (Lanoxin).

  • Medications for inflammation (Corticosteroids) interacts with ALDER BUCKTHORN

    Some medications for inflammation can decrease potassium in the body. Alder buckthorn is a type of laxative that might also decrease potassium in the body. Taking alder buckthorn along with some medications for inflammation might decrease potassium in the body too much.

    Some medications for inflammation include dexamethasone (Decadron), hydrocortisone (Cortef), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisone (Deltasone), and others.

  • Stimulant laxatives interacts with ALDER BUCKTHORN

    Alder buckthorn is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives speed up the bowels. Taking alder buckthorn along with other stimulant laxatives could speed up the bowels too much and cause dehydration and low minerals in the body.

    Some stimulant laxatives include bisacodyl (Correctol, Dulcolax), cascara, castor oil (Purge), senna (Senokot) and others.

  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with ALDER BUCKTHORN

    Alder buckthorn can work as a laxative. In some people alder buckthorn can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea can increase the effects of warfarin and increase the risk of bleeding. If you take warfarin do not to take excessive amounts of alder buckthorn.

  • Water pills (Diuretic drugs) interacts with ALDER BUCKTHORN

    Alder buckthorn is a laxative. Some laxatives can decrease potassium in the body. “Water pills” can also decrease potassium in the body. Taking alder buckthorn along with “water pills” might decrease potassium in the body too much.

    Some “water pills” that can decrease potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Microzide), and others.

Special Precautionsand Warnings

When taken by mouth: Alder buckthorn is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth for less than 8-10 days. Some people get uncomfortable cramps from alder buckthorn. If you experience diarrhea or watery stools while using alder buckthorn, stop taking it. The fresh bark can cause severe vomiting. Make sure you are using a bark product that is at least one year old or has been heat processed. Taking alder buckthorn by mouth for more than 8-10 days is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. It might cause low potassium, heart problems, stomach problems, muscle weakness, blood in the urine, and other side effects. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is LIKELY UNSAFE to take alder buckthorn by mouth during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Avoid using it.

Children: Alder buckthorn is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth by children younger than 12 years of age.

Diarrhea: Don't use alder buckthorn if you have diarrhea. Its laxative effects may worsen this condition.

Intestinal disorders, including intestinal blockage, appendicitis, Crohn disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or ulcerative colitis: Don't take alder buckthorn if you have a bowel obstruction; appendicitis; unexplained stomach pain; or inflammatory conditions of the intestines including Crohn disease, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For constipation: the typical dose of alder buckthorn is 0.5-2.5 grams of the dried bark. Take only the amount of bark needed to produce a soft stool. Alder buckthorn is also taken as a tea. The tea is prepared by steeping alder buckthorn in 150 mL of boiling water for 5-10 minutes and then straining. Alder buckthorn is also available as a liquid extract. The common dose of the liquid extract: (1:1 in 25% alcohol) is 2-5 mL three times daily. This preparation should be used only if diet change and bulk-forming laxatives don't work. Don't use the extract for more than seven to ten days.
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