Benefits of Buckthorn herb
Description of BuckthornBuckthorn is a bush that can be found in everglades, forests and groves.
Only the buckthorn bark is used for medicinal purposes. The external surface is covered with irregular longitudinal cracks. The internal part is finely striated longitudinally. On a section it can be seen that the cut is smooth towards the exterior and fibrous towards the interior. The maxim thickness of the bark is 2 mm and the color differs from the exterior, where it is brown to the interior, where it is light-orange or yellow-brown. If the external surface is scratched a red layer appears immediately inside. The taste is first mucilaginous, then bitter and astringent, giving off a weak smell.
Properties of Buckthorn herbThe bark contains a mixture of anthraquinone derivatives (anthranoids) of which the majority is present as glycosides. The maxim amount of substances is accumulated during springtime. The total content of anthranoids is 2 to 6%.
It also contains glycosides of emodin such as glucofrangulin A and B and frangulin A and B. The free aglycones emodin, chrysophanol and physcion are also present in varying concentrations.
It has the advantage that it can be used for a long time without causing dependence.
Buckthorn has also choleretic effects over the bile. It can relax the intestinal mussels and it has vermifuge properties. The fruits contain vitamins, mineral substances and fat acids and they have an antioxidant, protective and regenerator action.
TreatmentsKnown from the 14th century, buckthorn is especially administrated as a laxative or purgative. It is also a good cholagogus and choleretic. Its laxative action manifests within 10 hours from the moment of administration by stimulating mobility of the large intestine.
The chronic and acute constipations can be treated by administrating buckthorn powder (1 - 3g during 24 hours) or worm tea before bedtime. The dose can be repeated in the morning, on the empty stomach, if the problems persist. The quantity used depends on the constipation level, but it should always be low at the beginning of the cure.
Buckthorn is also recommended for liver insufficiency in association with other herbs like dandelion. It is used in the treatment of liver disorders and especially for the treatment of constipations caused by bile insufficiency.
In cases of obesity, the administration of buckthorn powder each morning can produce very good results.
The buckthorn bark can increase bile secretion. It is recommended to combine it with chicory or dandelion in order to increase its effect.
Other afflictions that can be treated with buckthorn are: Giardia, rheumatism, headaches followed by constipation, allergies and hepatitis. It can also be used for intestinal worms.
Used as compresses, buckthorn helps in the treatment of skin diseases associated with constipation (acne, allergic eczema, psoriasis, infections).
MixturesBuckthorn tea is prepared out of one spoon of mashed bark soaked in boiling water (250g of) for 15 minutes of water and then boiled for 30 minutes. It must be filtered while it's hot and it must be drunk before bedtime.
The powder must be administrated in the mornings, on the empty stomach. 2 - 3g of powder sweetened with honey for 5 - 7 times a week during 3 months make up the cure that must be followed.
The decoct can be prepared from one spoon of bark boiled in 250ml of water. The vessel must be covered for 15 minutes and then boiled for another 15 minutes. The dose depends on the person; the increase must be progressive with 2 - 3 spoons.
The buckthorn tincture, obtained from 20g of bark macerated for 10 days in 100ml of 70o alcohol, must be consumed in the morning, on the empty stomach. 2 or 4 spoons of tincture mixed with 2 or 4 spoons of honey represent the dose that must be administrated.
CautionBuckthorn should be consumed in small doses, because otherwise it can cause colics and diarrhea. Fresh herb mustn't be digested because it can cause nausea; the herb must be used only after one year from picking.
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