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Cascara sagrada is a natural laxative that comes from the reddish-brown bark of the Rhamnus purshiana tree.
The most notable constituents in cascara sagrada are hydroxyanthraquinone glycosides, or cascarosides. Cascarosides exhibit a cathartic effect that induces the large intestine to increase its muscular contraction (peristalsis), causing a bowel movement. Other important constituents include resins, tannins, and lipids which make up the majoriy of the other bark ingredients.
Many common laxatives use cascara sagrada as an ingredient and it is recognised as safe and effective by most medical and health professionals. It is such a mild laxative that it can safely be used by the elderly and for the mild constipation that can occur following anal or rectal surgery as it prevents the pressure and pain associated with haemorrhoids and anal fissures.
A bowel movement usually will take place within six to eight hours of taking a typically recommended dose of cascara sagrada.
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