European Buckthorn: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, and Other Important Information


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European buckthorn, or rhamnus cathartica, is a deciduous shrub  indigenous to Western Asia, the Caucasus, and Europe. It is  known for having a thick, thorny structure that allows it to thrive in hedgerow formations across its natural habitat. European buckthorn has a history of usage in traditional medicine, notably as a laxative, despite being considered an invasive species in North America. The nature of European buckthorn, its chemical components, potential health benefits, ideal dose, side effects, possible drug interactions, and safe usage are all covered in this essay.

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European Buckthorn: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, and Other Important Information is an original (NootropicsPlanet) article.

The Nature of European Buckthorn

The European buckthorn is a sturdy shrub or small tree that  reaches  up to 6-7 meters tall. It is indigenous to western Asia, some areas of Europe, and Northern Africa. It has spread throughout the ages, even to North America, where it is currently regarded as an invasive species.

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A deciduous plant, the European buckthorn loses its leaves once a year. Its dark black bark,  thick branching structure, and thorns  are usually 1-2 cm long, giving  it a striking look. The leaves are lustrous, dark green, and hardly serrated.

The plant produces tiny, greenish-yellow flowers in late spring to early summer when it blooms. The fruits have three to four seeds and are  crimson before becoming a deep black hue as they mature. These seeds enable the European buckthorn to spread widely, frequently of competing natural vegetation,  with the plant’s tenacious growth habit.

Although the fruit of the European buckthorn is not edible to humans, birds eat it and spread the seeds across large distances, which allows the plant to become invasive. Due to its adaptability, the plant can flourish in numerous  environments, including marshes, prairies, and forests. It is particularly aggressive in disturbed ecosystems.

Fresh vegetables are good for health.

Health Benefits of European Buckthorn

European buckthorn’s therapeutic use  as a laxative  is  due to its anthraquinone concentration. Its other chemicals, however, provide additional health advantages that are remarkable.

  1. Laxative Effects:  European buckthorn is an effective laxative due to the anthraquinones that induce bowel motions. It has historically been used to temporarily treat constipation.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects: The buckthorn’s emodin has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. As a result, it can aid in reducing the symptoms of inflammatory disorders, although  further study is required to support these claims.
Antioxidant sources.

Chemical Composition of European Buckthorn

Emodin and frangulin are two anthraquinones that make up the majority of European buckthorn’s active ingredients. These substances provide the plant with  potentially medicinal effects, and  concentration  in the bark and fruit. Flavonoids, phenolic substances, and tannins are its other components.

Physiological Properties of European Buckthorn

 Anthraquinones like emodin and frangulin contain purgative effects. They  exert their effects by promoting peristalsis, which reduces  the absorption of water and electrolytes in the colon while  quickening bowel movements. By preventing the generation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and scavenging free radicals, emodin has additional anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities.

Optimal Dosage of European Buckthorn

The amount of European buckthorn you take relies significantly on the purpose for which it will be used and how it will be eaten. When used as a laxative,  a normal dose of dried buckthorn bark  varies  from 20 to 30 mg. To guarantee safety and efficacy, it is necessary to speak with your  doctor before beginning any herbal regimen, including one containing European buckthorn.

Side Effects of European Buckthorn

There are some medicinal advantages of European buckthorn, but there are also a number of potential side  effects.  The most notable impact of its strong laxative properties  is that, with continued usage, it can cause electrolyte imbalance, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Consuming too much can also make you sick, make you throw up, and darken your urine.

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Diarrhea issues.

Potential Substance Interactions with European Buckthorn

The laxative properties of European buckthorn prevent other oral drugs from being absorbed. For instance, it can make anticoagulants and oral contraceptives less effective.  Before beginning a European buckthorn regimen, if you  are taking these drugs, you should speak with your  healthcare professional.


Responsible Use of European Buckthorn

Recognizing the powerful laxative effects and potential side effects of European buckthorn is a necessary part of using it responsibly. It should not be taken as a long-term cure for constipation, but rather as a temporary fix. Additionally, if you  use other medication, you should see a doctor before using  European buckthorn because there can  be some drug interactions.

European Buckthorn:


Reverting from chemical remedies to natural herbal remedies has been becoming more popular. Natural supplements also have fewer side effects and no other added chemicals. European bucktorn is a perfect example of a natural supplement that you can benefit from, especially if you are looking to try a natural supplement for laxative issues. European buckthorn is not a cure-all, but it temporarily relieves constipation and can help your body to relax and naturally relieve you of any pains or constipation issues. Not only does European buckthorn have laxative benefits, but it also carries antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to speak to your doctor about taking a European buckthorn supplement before starting it.


  1. “Rhamnus cathartica (buckthorn)”. Retrieved from:
  2. “Efficacy of Rhamnus cathartica for gastrointestinal issues”. Retrieved from:
  3. Edge Growth Form of European Buckthorn Increases Isoprene Emissions From Urban

Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.

Regarding Nutritional Supplements Or Other Non-Prescription Health Products: If any nutritional supplements or other non-prescription health products are mentioned in the foregoing article, any claims or statements made about them have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and such nutritional supplements or other health products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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