Yes - it's free to pick, fairly easy to identify. Works great!
Step 1: One of the Best Laxatives Ever
I stumbled onto this Constipation remedy -European Buckthorn Berries - in an alternative medicine binder*. I had looked at these berries in some trees on my street for years, and I knew that birds sometimes ate them. They are black and shiny and very prolific. The tree has shiny green leaves and most branches end in a thorn. In the fall they are ready to pick. I sometimes pick a whole branch and hang it to dry. The first time I tried them I popped 2 into my mouth, tasted them, and spit them out. They are absolutely horrible tasting. And WARNING can be poisonous if you eat too many. The book said take a maximum of 10 to 20. I have never gone that high! After I spit out the first 2 - I had a rope-like BM within 1/2 - 1 hour, after some sweating, feeling a tad nauseous, and feeling a violent (but not hurtful) flip in my gut.
Somewhere I read that 'EXLAX' used this as an ingredient in the past in their famous or 'infamous' 'chocolates'. As a child I sampled a few in fear when my mom wasn't looking.
In the past 5 years or so, I visited a REAL Historical Village in Nova Scotia, Canada. In their apothecary shop was their hand-written book of remedies, that they would sell there at least 100 years ago. It seems Buckthorn Berries (Common or European) are good for Constipation, Gall Bladder Problems, and ? (I will have to look it up!). I have a picture of the page. ** When I find it I will also mention the name of the town as I forget it.
Now, I dry the berries (by hanging them in a dry place), put them into an empty pill bottle, label with name and date picked, and keep them in my freezer. I have tried to keep them dry, but sometimes they grow a mold. The frozen dried berries do not work as fast as fresh, but I take 1 every half hour until a BM happens. I swallow them with water like a pill. Usually only 1 is needed - or now - I only have to THINK of taking one and a BM (bowel movement) is sure to be on the way. So - they are VERY POWERFUL, and very cheap. Usually FREE to pick if you know what they are. Be CAREFUL and USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Side effects usually come only if you are impacted. Then it is sweating, nausea, cramps, until you have a BM. Ahh, relief! The reference says diarrhea is also a side effect if you take too many. Plus (they say) don't use if you are pregnant, nursing, have abdominal pain, or any inflammatory intestinal illness.
That said, this is a beautiful, powerful, fast, remedy that has worked great for me. I was a constipated child, all my life I'd had problems in this area. No more. I know if you are taking prescription pain meds you need these!
Thanks be to God, for letting me find out this remedy, in the name of Jesus Christ, Creator.
I'm almost 60, a mom, and live in Northern Ontario, Canada
*Reference: The Complete Guide to Natural Healing' MCMXCIX International Masters Publishers AB Group 1 Card 31
Step 2: Buckthorn Blossoms in the Spring.
Notice the leaves.