Constipation, Sluggish Bowels, Anal Fissure (to soften stool)
Cascara is a predictable laxative. It increases peristalsis (the wave-like contraction that pushes contents through the bowel or colon). It softens the stool by helping it to move out more quickly and can assist in painful bowel movements. For occasional use, take it before bed to help stimulate better bowel movements in the morning. It can be used if one ate a constipating meal, when traveling or became constipated for short term reasons.
Cascara can also be used in chronic constipation. In this case, take it 2-3 times per day for at least one month. Work to establish a good daily elimination pattern before weaning off the Cascara. Take enough Cascara to get an expedient bowel movement that is not crampy. Wean off the Cascara slowly so that the body will establish a good daily pattern without the herb. Keep in mind that constipation can have many causes and these should be addressed. Make sure enough water fiber and whole foods are consumed daily. Exercise also plays an important role in regularity. The goal is to have at least one complete bowel movement per day that is not difficult.