Rhamnus frangula from which Buckthorn Bark is obtained is also commonly known as the Alder Buckthorn, Glossy Buckthorn, or Breaking Buckthorn and is a tall deciduous plant native to Europe, The northern parts of Africa, Western Asia China and Siberia. It has been naturalised in North America for around two centuries. It has now been labelled an invasive species.
Traditional Uses for Buckthorn Bark:-
It is related to Cascara. The bark and to a somewhat lesser extent, the fruit, is used for much the same purpose, as a gentle laxative but in needs to be harvested and dried and then stored for about twelvemonths before use. Fresh bark is a stong and violent purgative and the dried bark if taken in excess can cause stomach and belly cramps. Like all laxatives, they should not to be taken regularly but only when needed and never overdose on them.
It is reputed to be a very astringent herb and s often used in the treatment of Haemorrhoids. Additionally it has been historically used in the treatment of liver and gall bladder complaints
History of Buckthorn Bark:-
The second century AD Greek physician, Galen, wrote of alder buckthorn, although he did not distinguish clearly in his writings between it and other closely related species. All of these plants though, were credited with the power to protect against witchcraft, demons, poisons, and headaches in his time.