For hundreds of years, cascara sagrada has been used to support healthy bowels and overall gut health. But while the benefits from cascara sagrada for colon health, temporary relief from digestive issues, and regular bowel functioning are many, there is one thing that the herb is not recommended for: weight loss. Read on to find out important precautions to attempting any diet for cascara sagrada weight loss.
Derived from the bark of the California buckthorn tree in the northwestern U.S., people have been using cascara sagrada as far back as the 1800s when Native American tribes, early American settlers, and even Spanish and Mexican priests used the herb for temporary relief from constipation and other ailments. Even the herb’s name speaks to its value to these early adopters – “cascara sagrada” actually means “sacred bark” in Spanish.
However, cascara sagrada weight loss diets didn’t become popular until recently due to its natural laxative effect – with many women believing the herb would stimulate bowel movements to help them flush out toxins and lose weight. But as many scientific and medical studies have shown, this couldn’t be further from the truth. While cascara sagrada’s laxative effect is indeed helpful when it comes to constipation and other stomach issues, it is not safe for men or women who use it for weight loss. In fact, laxatives are never a good idea for weight loss. Here’s why.
Cascara Sagrada Weight Loss Warning
Here are a few reasons why cascara sagrada weight loss methods may do more harm than good.
01. Your “Quick Fix” Will Actually Have Worse Results
A common misconception that works alongside laxative-fueled weight loss plans is the idea that you will lose weight fast. Don’t believe it! Not only will this not work for lasting weight loss, but it may actually have long-term negative side effects on your entire body. When it comes to weight, using laxatives will only flush water out of your system, and that’s bad for two reasons. First, you need water, because without it you can become dehydrated easily. Second, you’re not actually losing any fat, so the minute you stop your “quick fix” diet, you’ll gain all the weight back almost immediately … and probably even a little bit more since your body’s metabolism will go into overdrive after being starved of the nutrients that got flushed out of your system with laxatives.
02. You Will Lose Out on Many of the Essential Nutrients You Actually Need
Speaking of nutrients, many essential elements like electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals will be lost when using cascara sagrada weight loss pills or anything similar. Laxatives, even natural options like cascara sagrada, flush everything through your system immediately, which means that your body won’t have enough time to absorb all the nutrients it needs to keep you healthy and thriving. As you strip your body of the things you need most, you won’t be building a healthy body, you’ll be tearing it down.
03. Not Even the FDA Supports It
Being used by Native Americans for centuries, cascara sagrada was considered safe and was accepted in modern medical practice all the way back until 1877. It was the main ingredient in many over-the-counter laxatives across North America, meant to provide temporary relief from symptoms related to constipation and other digestive issues. But in 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changed this standing, and it is no longer considered an FDA-regulated ingredient for safe laxatives and/or weight loss. Instead, cascara sagrada is now considered a dietary supplement to use at your own risk, and it not approved by the FDA as a safe weight loss tool at all.
How to Maintain a Healthy Weight … In a Healthy Way
While cascara sagrada weight loss may not be an option, there are many other ways you can shed pounds and sustain a your desired weight. Here are two ways to help maintain a healthy weight in a healthy way.
01. Natural Plant-Based Supplements
Cascara sagrada isn’t safe for weight loss, but there are many other herbal products that are. Whether it’s mango, raspberry, or even coffee, the elements found in nine of our favorite natural supplements will help you enhance your weight loss goals and support a healthy body overall.
02. Diet and Exercise
It’s not exciting, but it’s true – diet and exercise are still the two best ways to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. And these “old fashioned” methods are tried and true for a reason; they don’t just work for weight loss, they will benefit almost every part of your body for years to come. From supporting a healthy brain to a healthy heart to a healthy weight, diet and exercise will always have the best and most lasting benefits. And you don’t have to start out by running a marathon or becoming a vegetarian! Little steps like calculating your BMI, taking a short walk every day, or eating less sugar will set you on the path for healthy weight loss success.
Other Benefits of Cascara Sagrada
Of course, while cascara sagrada weight loss is not an option we recommend, there are other potential health benefits that cascara sagrada does support. When used in small doses (40-60 drops in water once or twice a day) for a short period of time (not more than a few days), cascara sagrada may help temporarily relieve constipation and other bowel discomfort issues. It may also promote colon health through detoxification and cleansing. You can find cascara sagrada supplements on Natural Healthy Concepts in addition to many other natural, herbal-based weight management supplements.
Have you found a way to manage your weight in a healthy way? Tell us your story in the comments below.