The New International Encyclopædia/Cascara Sagrada

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Edition of 1905.  See also Rhamnus purshiana on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

CASCARA SAGRADA, sȧ-grä′dȧ (Sp., sacred bark), Chittem Bark, or Sacred Bark. The bark of Rhamnus Purshiana, the Californian buckthorn, a tree of the natural order Rhamnaceæ. The bark contains a crystallizable substance, casearin; resins, a volatile oil, and malic, tannic, and oxalic acids. A fluid extract of the bark, as well as casearin, is used for the relief of chronic constipation and also in gout. After prolonged use of it, constipation is cured in many cases, as its action is to increase the peristaltic action of the muscular fibres of the intestine. It is generally used in combination with other laxatives, and it forms an ingredient of many proprietary purgative medicines. See Bark; Buckthorn.