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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Buckthorn Side Effects and Warnings

Written by FoundHealth.

Safety Issues

As noted above, buckthorn may cause nausea or vomiting. It may also cause a harmless red or yellow discoloration of the urine. Buckthorn is not recommended for long-term use because, like all stimulant laxatives, this may induce dependency.

People with significant colonic disease, such as ulcerative colitis , should not use buckthorn. (This, too, is common to all stimulant laxatives.)

If buckthorn is repeatedly taken to the point of diarrhea, the body may become depleted of the mineral potassium. This is particularly dangerous for people using drugs in the digoxin family; dangerous cardiac arrythmias may occur if potassium levels are allowed to become inadequate. People who additionally use medications that deplete the body of potassium, such as thiazide or loop diuretics, are at special risk of this complication of buckthorn overuse.

Safety in pregnant or nursing women, young children, or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.

Interactions You Should Know About

If you are taking:

  • Digoxin , thiazide diuretics , or loop diuretics : It is especially important not to overuse buckthorn.


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