Scientific name: Rhamnus Purshiana

Common names: Bearberry, California Buckthorn, Chittem Bark, Purshiana Bark, Persian Bark

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    الكسكارة المباركة (al kaskaara al mubaarakah)

Rainforest names:

Family: Fabaceae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Bark

Collection: Spring to summer (bark) 


Height: 15 to 25 feet

Actions: Purgative, tonic, hepatic, laxative, digestive stimulant

Known Constituents:  Usually >8% hydroxyanthracene glycosides with minimum 60% consisting of cascarosides including Cascaroside A (C27, H32, O14)Anthraquinones, tannins

Constituents Explained:


Bark is usually left to age for 2 to 3 years. The bark is stripped off in vertical strips when it peels most easily in the spring and the summer. 

Traditional Use:

One of the oldest remedies for the intestinal tract that isn’t habit forming. Cascara Sagrada stimulates peristalsis and tones muscles in the intestinal tract.

It is also used for gallstones, liver and the stomach. The Native Americans called is ‘sacred bark.’  The fresh bark won’t open people bowels. The bark needs to left to age for at least one year. The taste is very bitter.   

Clinical Studies: