Bark of buckthorn
 Buckthorn - is a plant known since childhood every inhabitant middle latitudes called "wolf berry", however, called the Wolfberry and some other plants of similar species .  Another name by which it is commonly known - zhoster, although correct zhostera call one kind Buckthorn - Rhamnus cathartica which differs from other species by the presence of spines on the tips of branches .  Buckthorn grows in the form of shrubs or small trees, copses, forest edges, on the banks of rivers and lakes, has a wide habitat - from North Africa and Asia almost to the Arctic Circle, it is common in Europe and North America, which was introduced from Europe in decorative purposes .  The bark is dark, glossy leaves, oval .  Blossoms profusely from mid-May to June inconspicuous yellow flowers on the spot where later-appearing berry drupe, first green, and later red, in mid-August they ripen and turn black .

Properties buckthorn

Application buckthorn is very wide, it is useful and beautiful plant, with the unpretentious. In order to use as a decorative bush itself and its timber Melliferous small yellow flowers, seeds of an oil containing a large amount of tar, glycosides, colorants and succinic acid, this oil is used in medicine and in the paint industry.

In medicine used buckthorn berry and its bark, both in traditional and in folk. And the bark and berries have laxative properties. However, use of this herb should be with great care, strictly adhering to the recommendations, because it contains a substance strongly irritates the mucous membrane of the digestive tract and thus can cause serious poisoning.

In folk medicine, the use of buckthorn wider, not only as a laxative that is justified by its properties. For example, it is well known antibacterial effect, and the experimental conditions, it was proved the existence of an antiviral effect - water extract of buckthorn berries inhibited the replication of herpes virus.

chemical composition

As part of buckthorn laxative or zhostera, contains the following chemicals:

  • Anthraquinones, including fragularozid that causes vomiting. When storing a substance undergoes fermentation, turning into safe glikofrangulin. The oxidation process takes about a year, but can be accelerated by thermal treatment. That's why you can not use freshly harvested bark and berries of buckthorn, and only after at least a year after harvest, or specially treated, such as those that come in pharmacy sales;
  • Tannins;
  • Alkaloids;
  • Malic and succinic acids;
  • Simple and complex sugars (arabic, pectin);
  • Vitamin C;
  • Essential oils - in the cortex, they found a small amount, and the berries in a large.

Use of buckthorn in medicine

 Syrup of buckthorn
 In medicine it is used mostly buckthorn laxative, although other types may also be used for medicinal purposes. The primary purpose of this plant the name implies, it is a laxative effect. Buckthorn as a laxative effect is very soft, the effect occurs within 10-14 hours after ingestion, which should be considered when applying correctly calculating time. Use the dried bark or berries plants in the bark of buckthorn laxative effect is stronger than that of berries. As a laxative buckthorn in the official medicine is prescribed for intestinal, hemorrhoids, perianal fissures, helminthic infestation, colitis.

Experts tend to believe that the effect of this plant on the intestine rather regulatory than just a laxative, as the tannins contained in it, too, with diarrhea produce a therapeutic effect, and therefore the use of buckthorn is justified for all violations of the intestine: constipation, diarrhea and alternation .

Buckthorn berries are used in chronic constipation atopic character, diarrhea, heavy menstrual bleeding. However, their main applications - as a diuretic for edema, ascites, including ascites caused by liver cirrhosis and heart failure. Allowed the use of fresh berries, but not more than 15 pieces for the reception, otherwise they cause vomiting and provoke inflammation of the stomach. In order not to risk, it is better still to use the dried and preserved berries 2-3 years. By the way, as an emetic folk medicine prescribes it buckthorn.

Also, in alternative medicine, it is used for gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers, liver disease, heart failure, persistent cough. Alcohol tincture buckthorn berries are used for grinding of rheumatism and sciatica, and the aqueous decoction of skin diseases (eczema and inflammation caused by pustular infection such as boils, carbuncles, festering wounds).

Dosage forms and methods of using

Buckthorn is usually applied in the form of infusions and decoctions, occasionally in the form of forty-degree alcohol tinctures, even less in its natural form - no more than 10-15 of fresh fruit on an empty stomach, or dry, frayed to powder. From buckthorn laxative produced syrup, which is approved for use in pediatric practice. Sometimes in the literature you can find recommendations on the use of fresh juice from the berries of buckthorn, but doctors believe that fresh or canned juice has a very high concentration of active substances, and can cause unwanted reactions on the part of the body (vomiting, diarrhea, pain in the stomach and intestines) .

Buckthorn is marketed as a syrup, a dried and ground bark and a part of pharmacy fees.

To prepare 10 g of fruit buckthorn 8:00 insist on a glass of boiled water. To prepare their own syrup, mix equal parts water infusion buckthorn and sugar.

Buckthorn bark decoction is prepared as follows: 20g of dried and shredded bark pour two cups of cold water, cook on low heat for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool, take 1 tablespoon before bed (to bring relief in the morning).

Buckthorn bark brew recipe: 10 g of dry powdered bark pour 2 cups water, let stand for 8-10 hours.

Alcohol tinctures: buckthorn bark, pre-dried and crushed, pour 40-degree alcohol at the rate of 1: 1, on the same recipe made alcoholate buckthorn berries.

Contraindications to buckthorn

When used properly, buckthorn has almost no contraindications, however, be sure to follow the dosage and its order to use the plant for at least two years before the collection. Contraindications to buckthorn are the following condition: malignant tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, Crohn's disease, early childhood, pregnancy, lactation, uterine bleeding.

Contraindications to buckthorn is also its too frequent use, since, like other laxatives, it is addictive, and subsequently self-emptying of the bowel becomes problematic.