Cascara Sagrada Extract
Standardized: cascara sagrada
Other: bearberry, cascara, chittem bark, sacred bark
Rhamnus purshiana DC.
Plant Family: Rhamnaceae
Cascara sagrada, which translates to “sacred bark”, is a deciduous shrub found in the American Northwest. The herb is harvested in the form of quills and pieces of bark, and it is never to be used fresh. The herb must age at least a year in order for its anthrone chemicals to be broken down before it can be used in laxative preparations. If the bark is not aged, it will cause intense intestinal spasms and vomiting. More recently, Cascara sagrada is used as an ingredient in sun screen products, as well as a flavoring agent in foods such as candy, frozen dairy desserts, and baked goods.