Buckthorn

Buckthorn is also known as Persian berries, Black Alder Tree and Arrowwood. In the ancient civilizations, Buckthorn was used by Greeks to ward off evil spirits and demons. The herb was also considered to be effective as anti-venom. But the main action of the buckthorn is in its capacity to cleanse.

Overview of Buckthorn

buckthornBuckthorn is a deciduous tree that originally grew in Europe and has now been naturalized in the United States. The plant has a shiny red bark and a smooth stem. It is usually found in damp places like hedgerows and marshes. Buckthorn needs light soil or peat for optimal growth. The berries are green when they first appear. They slowly turn red and finally become a deep black color. The inner side of the bark produces a yellow dye and was once used to produce various colors.

The fresh bark of the Buckthorn is not good for use. The bark should be aged for at least a year before it is safe to use. But if the bark is stored for more than 3 years, it loses its effectiveness.

In modern herbal practices, buckthorn is used for the relief of headaches. The active ingredients in the plant include flavonoids, tannins and resins. The plant also has considerable amounts of calcium, Vitamin A and cobalt.

The bark is considered to be generally very bitter to taste. It is a very strong purgative. Its strident action will let out everything from the body. Thus this bark should not be taken when the patient is weak or ill in any way. It is also supposed to cure appendicitis. When taken hot, Buckthorn induces perspiration. The bark is also considered to be a strong diuretic, which means that it can effectively be used in cases of gout, dropsy and even rheumatism.

Use of Buckthorn

Its most important use is in the form of a purgative and laxative. When ingested in small quantities in the capsule form or made into a tea, it is non-habit forming, safe and natural. It also has a lesser known history of allowing the body to detoxify itself by sending out wastes through perspiration. Buckthorn was used to cure jaundice and intestinal worms in the past.

When mixed with vinegar, Buckthorn also helps remove lice from the hair. It has certain anti-septic properties. It cleanses the lower bowel and has been used to relieve stomach gas and bloating. Since it help flush out toxins from the body, it is used as a body cleanser in many conditions. It helps cleans the mouth by removing toxins deposited on the gums and fights mouth infections. It also helps to fight skin infections.

Buckthorn Cautions

One should be careful before using large doses of Buckthorn because concentrated doses can be violently purgative. This can lead to serious internal inflammation. It should be avoided by people who are suffering from any kind of disease or are in a generally weak condition. Long term use of the herb can lead to depletion of potassium levels in the body. In some rare cases, Buckthorn has also led to death in infants.

 When mixed with vinegar, Buckthorn also helps remove lice from the hair. It has certain anti-septic properties. It cleanses the lower bowel and has been used to relieve stomach gas and bloating. Since it help flush out toxins from the body, it is used as a body cleanser in many conditions. It helps cleans the mouth by removing toxins deposited on the gums and fights mouth infections. It also helps to fight skin infections.

One should be careful before using large doses of Buckthorn because concentrated doses can be violently purgative. This can lead to serious internal inflammation. It should be avoided by people who are suffering from any kind of disease or are in a generally weak condition. Long term use of the herb can lead to depletion of potassium levels in the body. In some rare cases, Buckthorn has also led to death in infants.

Buckthorn is a deciduous tree that originally grew in Europe and has now been naturalized in the United States. The plant has a shiny red bark and a smooth stem. It is usually found in damp places like hedgerows and marshes. Buckthorn needs light soil or peat for optimal growth. The berries are green when they first appear. They slowly turn red and finally become a deep black color. The inner side of the bark produces a yellow dye and was once used to produce various colors.