Buckthorn Cancer Treatment

Other names: European Buckthorn, Hartshorn, Purging Buckthorn, Waythorn, Frangula & Alder Buckthorn

Buckthorn also has a long history as a cancer treatment. In America it was an ingredient in the popular; but highly controversial, Hoxsey Cancer Formula. According to researchers, it has an anti-tumor effect, but other studies must be conducted before this herb can be used to treat cancer.

Buckthorn contains anthraquinone derivates including rhamnocarthrin and vitamin C. Only use this herb in consultation with your physician. Because this herb has such powerful laxative action, people with gastrointestinal problems; such as, ulcers, colitis, or hemorrhoids should not use this herb.

Buckthorn Properties

Cleans toxins from tissues and is bitter, diuretic and strongly purgative.

The fruit contains anthraquinone glycosides, as well as organic acids, such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), pectins, flavonoids, tannins and anthocyanins, while emodin, emodinanthrone, glucofrangulin and frangulins are more readily found in the seeds.

The anthranoids of the emodin type are not absorbed or hydrolyzed in the upper digestive tract, but are broken down into anthrones when they reach the colon, which creates faster bowel movements and enhances the secretion of water, while inhibiting its re-absorption in the colon, thereby creating softer more liquefied stools.

Buckthorn Therapeutic Uses

Buckthorn is considered a last resort treatment for constipation, or in cases where soft stool is desirable – such as with hemorrhoids or after rectal surgery.

In folk medicine it is used as a “blood purifier” as well as a diuretic.

It is also used in very small amounts to help treat skin problems, as well as intestinal parasites and gallstones.

Buckthorn Safety

Not to be used by pregnant or breast feeding women, or children under 12. It is also contraindicated in cases of obstruction or inflammation of the intestines, such as appendicitis, colitis or Crohn’s disease.

Use Buckthorn cautiously if you have digestive tract problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcer disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease. Buckthorn may worsen these problems.

Keep buckthorn berries and preparations out of children’s reach.

Know that gender and more predictable laxatives than buckthorn are available.

Buckthorn must be taken very cautiously for short periods of time in amounts typically recommended.

Do not use buckthorn herbal laxative for more than two weeks at a time. It can cause lazy bowel syndrome. The inability to move stool without chemical stimulation. If constipation persists, consult your physician.

If you do use buckthorn, make sure its been thoroughly dried. It will cause vomiting, severe abdominal cramps, and violent diarrhea. Most herbalist recommend drying the berries and/or bark for at least one year. Some say two years, before using them. Fresh buckthorn can be dried in an oven by baking at 250 degrees for several hours.

For otherwise healthy people who do not have any gastrointestinal conditions and are not taking other laxatives; this herb may be used very cautiously for a short period of time in amounts typically recommended. However, if you develop any abdominal distress call a physician immediately.

As with all herbal nutrition supplements, buckthorn supplements should only be used in amounts typically recommended for medicinal purposes and you should always consult with a health professional first, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or taking prescription medications.

Buckthorn Side Effects

Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of buckthorn:

  • abdominal pain
  • anxiety
  • dehydration symptoms such as thirst
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • slow breathing
  • trembling
  • vomiting

Products containing buckthorn are sold under such names as Herbal Laxative, Herbalene, Laxysat Mono Abfuhr-Tee Nr.2, Neo-Cleanse and Neo-Lax.

Buckthorn Dosage

Infusion: Pour a cup of boiling water onto 2 teaspoonfuls of the fruit and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk in the morning or evening as it takes about 12 hours to be effective. The seeds (about 10) may also be chewed before eating in the morning. If the dose is too high, buckthorn might cause extreme diarrhea and possibly vomiting.

Tincture: take 1- 2ml of the tincture night and morning.

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Buckthorn Research Links

Antifungal activity of Rubia tinctorum, Rhamnus frangula and Caloplaca cerina.

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