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Cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana) is a bark that is rich in hormone-like oils that promote peristaltic action in the colon. It is one of the best herbs to use for chronic constipation and (some herbalists say that it is not habit-forming) its effects can be felt within 6 to 8 hours, producing soft stools with little discomfort. It increases the secretions of the stomach, liver and pancreas and exerts a remarkable action in torpor of the colon in constipation.
Cascara is very valuable for hemorrhoids due to poor bowel function. It helps to promote painless evacuations and, after extended usage, the bowels will function naturally and regularly from its tonic effects. It is cleansing to the colon and helps rebuild its functions. Cascara has often been recommended as part of cleansing and detoxifying programs and in small doses it may be an effective liver tonic.