Known under the scientific name Frangula alnus, Buckthorn is a shrub of the Rhamnaceae family. Its size is about 2-6 m. Of European origin, it grows mainly in the undergrowth, in clearings, mountains and plains. It is also found in North America.
It is widespread there, except in the northern region and the Mediterranean. Generally, it grows in a very humid environment. Its bark is mainly composed of anthraquinones including franguline. It is also rich in Flavonoids and Tannins.
Botanical description of buckthorn
The buckthorn is characterized by a gray bark, whose branches are lined with petiolate and oval leaves. Its flowering is generally between the months of April and July. The flowers give rise to globular fruits.
These are green then turn red. When ripe, the fruits are then black, very juicy and toxic. The fruits and leaves are rich in anthracenics and alkaloids which give psychotropic effects.
Its main indications in natural medicine and warning
La Bourdaine is a powerful laxative. Its toxic composition requires drying to promote its use. To be taken occasionally, it is especially prized for its purgative and antiparasitic properties. The plant stimulates the intestines, bile, liver, pancreas and spleen.
It is suggested in case of constipation and hemorrhoids. If constipation persists, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. In the long term, the active principle of the plant irritates the intestinal flora.
The buckthorn eliminates and drain intestinal parasites. It is also used for cases of biliary or hepatic insufficiency. It is equally effective for the treatment against scabs, cold sores, scabies and ringworm.
Used part of buckthorn
It is the bark of the tree that is first dried and then ground. The fresh bark is to be avoided, since it is too strong in rhamnotoxin. This active ingredient is bitter, emetic and irritating, which disappears on boiling.
The main uses and proportions of buckthorn
Buckthorn is especially recommended when occasional constipation. Its preparation varies according to the needs, but it is found in the rationalized preparations.
In herbal tea
Infusion of 2 g of dry bark in 200 ml of boiling water for 10 min. Take the equivalent of a cup before bedtime.
In mother tincture
In case of constipation or herpes, take 20 drops, morning and evening, before each meal. For external use, dilute 1 teaspoon in a large glass of water. To be dabbed with a sterile compress.
Take 1 to 3 teaspoons of dry, crushed bark, boil in 150 g of water for a quarter of an hour. Leave for 6 hours and take at bedtime.
In syrup for children over 3 years old
5 g of buckthorn liquid extract, 25 g of pale rose syrup and a sufficient quantity for 90 ml of orange syrup. To be taken at bedtime.