Overview

Cascara sagrada (Frangula purshiana) is a shrub. The dried bark used to be FDA approved as an OTC laxative for constipation. It's now used in supplements.

Cascara sagrada contains chemicals that stimulate the bowel and have a laxative effect.

People use cascara sagrada for constipation, emptying the colon before a colonoscopy, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Cascara sagrada used to be approved by the US FDA as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug for constipation, but this approval was taken away in 2002 due to a lack of evidence. Today, you can buy cascara sagrada as a dietary supplement, but not as a drug

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