This section is from the "A Practical Treatise On Materia Medica And Therapeutics" book, by Roberts Bartholow. Also available from Amazon: A Practical Treatise On Materia Medica And Therapeutics
Cascara Sagrada.—The bark of Rhamnus Purshiana De Candolle (Nat. Ord. Rhamnaceae).
Fluid extract of rhamnus Purshiana. Dose,τηl x— 3 ij.
Under the name cascara sagrada (sacred bark) it has long been used in California as a cathartic. Besides this action, extraordinary qualities have been attributed to it. The taste is bitter, and it has some of the properties of substances of that kind, having the effects of a stomachic tonic. It improves appetite and digestion, and increases the secretions of the gastro-intestinal canal, in consequence of which it has a laxative action. In this combination of tonic and cathartic effects, cascara resembles rhubarb (Tcheltzaffon). Although a cholagague action is ascribed to it, there is no reason to suppose that it possesses this property in any higher degree than rhubarb. It is well adapted for the relief of catarrhal jaundice, and it is useful in cases of dyspepsia accompanied by constipation. Habitual constipation, as a merely functional state, has been cured by it, and it is now much in request for the treatment of that condition. As a laxative, for the relief of haemorrhoids and affections of the pelvic organs, it is quite useful.
Authorities referred to:
Eymery, Dr. Thése de Paris, 1884. Quoted by Journal de Thérapeutique, 1884. Limousin, M. Pharmacist. Bulletin General de Thérapeutique for 1884. Tcheltzaffon, Dr. Research in Professor Botkin's Laboratory. Quoted by Virchow und Hirsch's Jahresbericht for 1886.