Herbs Guide

Common Buckthorn

Family Name: Rhamnaceae

Botanical Name(s): Rhamnus cathartica

Popular Name(s): Purging Buckthorn, Waythorn, Highwaythorn

Parts Used: Fruit

Habitat: Common buckthorn is found in Europe, Asia and the eastern U.S.

Description: Common buckthorn is a deciduous shrub growing up to 22 feet in height. Its leaves are broadly oval, grow in opposite pairs and are rounded or pointed at the tip. Its flowers emerge from stems near the bases of leaf stalks and occur in dense clusters of 2 to 6 possessing yellow-green colour. Its fruits are in the form of black, fleshy berry-like drupes.

Uses: Common Buckthorn has diuretic, purgative and cathartic properties. Its dried berries can be taken directly or as an infusion prepared using the berries for a purgative effect. Common Buckthorn is used as a laxative also.