The name Cascara Sagrada means "Sacred Bark". The Cascara Sagrada dates back to the seventeenth century when the American Indians introduced the Spanish and Mexican explorers to the usefulness of the bark for constipation and upset stomach. The bark was first marketed to the medical community in 1877 when the pharmaceutical company of Parke-Davis introduced a bitter emetic fluid extract. In 1890, the plant was officially listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoea. It is a shrub, native to North America. Cascara Sagrada is popularly used to treat chronic constipation. As a nutritional supplement, Cascara Sagrada supports and strengthens the colon, liver, gallbladder and digestive system. Cascara is perhaps the safest and most certain natural laxative available, and can be used to restore tone to the colon and thereby overcome laxative dependence in the elderly. The herb is safe and effective for detoxifying and cleansing programs, as opposed to the harsher laxatives, such as senna. Cascara Sagrada bark has been used for centuries by various cultures around the world. Cascara Sagrada is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-5, calcium, manganese and potassium. The natural constituents found in Cascara Sagrada stimulate the secretion of digestive fluids, increase the flow of bile, and cleanse the intestines. Cascara Sagrada is beneficial for treating a sluggish gallbladder, digestive problems, enlarged liver, intestinal parasites, jaundice, and colitis. In addition, Cascara Sagrada may be used to treat hemorrhoids, and a variety of skin problems. To prevent gripe, it is best combined with some carminative herbs such as Anise, Fennel or Caraway Seeds.