- Latin name: Rhamnus Purshiana
- CAS No .: 84650-55-5
- Specifications: min. 10% o 20-25% Cascarosidi
- Used Part: bark
Rhamnus purshiana is a shrub or small tree native to North America, particularly California, but can also be found on the Pacific coast of Chile. It is cultivated for medicinal purposes in Europe and Kenya. The common name “cascara sagrada” means sacred bark, derives from a legend according to which the ark of Noah was built with the bark.
Anthraquinone derivatives (cascarosides, aloines, …) are extracted from the bark of the trunk and branches. The fresh bark has an emetic action (causes vomiting). For this, the drug is dried and at least one year of seasoning is waited. Seasoned bark powder or extract is used as a delayed-acting purgative. It does not present phenomena of addiction, however it is not used for prolonged therapies. It is not administered in case of pregnancy.