The bark of the alder buckthorn, Rhamnus frangula (Rhamnaceae) is used in a similar way to cascara, and is preferred to cascara in many European countries, though not in the UK. Rhamnus frangula is a small tree of European origin, and supplies of the bark come from South-Eastern Europe. The bark is also stored for a year before use. Frangula bark contains about 6% anthracene derivatives, mainly anthraquinone O-glycosides. These are derivatives of emodin (Figure 3.30) and comprise glucofrangulins A and B, and frangulins A and B (Figure 3.33). Free aglycones emodin, physcion and chrysophanol are also present.
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