Botanical Name: Rhamnus purshiana
- English: Cascara Sagrada,
- Also, known as: Sacred Bark, Persian Bark, Chittem Bark, Chitticum bark
Habitat: Europe & USA
Harvested: Wild or Cultivated
Parts Used: Bark
Cascara Sagrada is a small tree (or large shrub) 15-30 feet in height, with 20-40 cm in trunk diameter. The outer bark is brownish to silver-gray with light splotching and the inner surface of the bark is smooth and yellowish (turning dark brown with age and/or exposure to sunlight).
The bark should be obtained from the young trunk and large branches in the springtime, as taken from other parts and out of season it will have a different taste and characteristics. Age at least one year before using. Cascara bark has an intensely bitter flavor that will remain in the mouth for hours, overpowering the taste buds.
The leaves are simple, deciduous, alternate, clustered near the ends of twigs. They are oval, 5-10 cm long and 2–5 cm broad with a 0.5–2 cm petiole, shiny and green on top, and a dull, paler green below and have tiny teeth on the margins, and parallel veins. The fruit is a drupe 5–10 mm diameter, bright red at first, quickly maturing deep purple or black, and containing a yellow pulp, and two or three hard, smooth, olive-green, or black seeds.
How to use:
Decoctions are suitable for roots, barks, large seeds & berries, and other dense material. The simple way to make decoction is, in a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of dried herbs to 1 cup of water. Bring the water to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal decoctions with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.