We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Uses of Cascara Bark?

By Madeleine A.
Updated Feb 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cascara bark can be useful in treating hemorrhoids and constipation, or it may be used as a bowel preparation before diagnostic and surgical procedures. Cascara bark contains substances that stimulate the intestinal lining. Also known as cascara sagrada, cascara bark is a stimulant laxative but its use must be carefully monitored. This substance is found in many over-the-counter laxatives and can be purchased at many retailers such as grocery stores, drug stores, and nutrition stores.

When consumed to treat constipation, cascara bark works relatively fast to produce bowel movements, typically in about six hours. It also causes the material in the colon to increase, which exerts pressure on the bowel. This stimulates peristalsis, or contractions, that the colon undergoes when attempting to evacuating its contents. Although cascara sagrada is generally used in pediatric and elderly patients, people of all ages can use it.

When abdominal diagnostic or surgical procedures are ordered, the patient may need to endure a "bowel prep." This procedure involves drinking a substance that works to stimulate the bowel to evacuate its contents. While this procedure can be worse than the actual medical procedure, it is a necessary component of the preoperative routine. Cascara bark preparation is considered a natural bowel prep and generally well tolerated in most people.

Cascara bark preparations can also help relieve hemorrhoids. When constipation occurs or when the stool is difficult to pass, pressure is put on the delicate tissues of the rectal area. This can cause internal or external hemorrhoids to form that can cause irritation, inflammation, and bleeding. A laxative containing cascara bark helps the stool to soften, allowing for easier passage and less straining during a bowel movement.

Preparations containing cascara bark should not be used in those who are pregnant, breastfeeding. These preparations also should not be used by people who have conditions such as Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome, or who experience frequent abdominal pain. Before taking medicine made with cascara, it should be discussed with a doctor who can explain the risks and benefits. In addition, the doctor should be made aware of current medications and medical conditions of the patient.

For patients who can't tolerate cascara products, other remedies are available to treat constipation. Eating a high-fiber diet and increasing fluid intake can bulk up the stool, making it easier to pass. In addition, mild exercise and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can also help relieve the effects of constipation. Commercial over-the-counter stool softeners and laxatives that do not contain cascara are also available, however, their use should be fist discussed with the doctor before beginning treatment.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.