Patients affected by problems such as chronic constipation can be given the herbal cascara sagrada remedy as the herb induces peristalsis in the intestinal muscles and it is also known to tone the relaxed intestinal muscles in the digestive system of the affected patient. For this reason, many commercial laxatives contain the cascara sagrada as one of the key ingredients in the product. Small doses of the cascara sagrada can also be given as a tonic to the patients as the plant often helps promote the digestive process in patients affected by disorders in the digestion.
The cascara sagrada is a plant native to specific areas of the North American continent - mainly the western coastal regions. This herb is found growing all along the Pacific Northwest from the Canadian province of British Columbia down to the northern parts of the California state. The cascara sagrada is mainly found in specific areas such as along bottomlands in valleys, along canyons and on forested mountain slopes.
In all herbal remedies made from cascara sagrada, the only form of the plant permissible for use during the preparation process is the dried form of the cascara sagrada. Dosage for patients can be two capsules of the dried form of cascara sagrada, which can be taken a maximum of two times every day during the treatment process. The dosage regimen for the cascara sagrada in tincture form is usually 1 to 5 ml every day during the treatment period. Whenever, patients use the cascara sagrada remedy, they must also drink at least eight 6 ounce glasses of water during the day to prevent dehydration as well as to aid the remedy. During any treatment regimen using the cascara sagrada, eight to ten days must be kept as the limit for continuous use - this time period must always be broken by an interval of rest to ensure optimal treatment.
A physician must always be present to supervise the use of cascara sagrada by women who are in a term of pregnancy and those who are lactating - such patients must not use the remedy unless a doctor is supervising the dosages. The cascara sagrada must also be avoided by all patients affected by an intestinal obstruction. The colon can be drastically weakened in its functioning due to abuse of cascara sagrada, using the herb for very long periods or abusing the doses of the herb can also lead to the drastic loss of electrolytes from the body - this is particularly evident in the depletion of the essential mineral potassium. The drastic loss of an essential mineral like potassium can often resemble the effects of the digitalis like medications; such a situation can lead to severe health complications and even death.
The preparation and processing techniques of this remedy in the present day, differ little from the traditional methods of the Native Americans; during the spring or summer, the bark is stripped from the trunk of the cascara sagrada and the collected bark are left to undergo a slow aging process for a few years before they are used as herbal medicine. The population of cascara sagrada trees in the wild has drastically come down; this situation is mainly due to the large scale and indiscriminate cutting of the trees by white settlers in the last century.
To make it more effective as an herbal remedy, the cascara sagrada remedy should be mixed with different aromatics and carminative substances - such as the licorice, this makes the remedy more potent.