Wild Cherry Bark

wild cherry

Also known as- Prunus serotina, Black Cherry (Prunus virginiana), Virginian Prune, and Choke Cherry.


From ancient times the cherry has been associated with virginity, the red colored fruit with the enclosed seed symbolizing the uterus. Buddhism teaches that Maya, the virgin mother of Buddha, was supported by a holy cherry tree during her pregnancy. In Danish folklore, a good crop of cherries was insured by having the first ripe fruit eaten by a woman shortly after her first child was born. Many myths used cherries as symbols of both education and concealment.
The cherry has been associated with virginity from ancient times to modern, which probably arose from the red colored fruit with enclosed seed symbolizing the uterus.


Acetylcholine, HCN, kaempferol, p-coumaric acid, prunasin, quercetin, scopoletin, tannins.

Parts Used

Dried bark.

Typical Preparations

Most commonly found in Syrup formulas, however it may be administered as a tea or extract.


Much of the healing activity of wild cherry bark is associated with scopoletin: analgesic, antiarrhythmic, antibacterial, anticonstrictive (in the bronchial tubes), antihepatotoxic, anti-inflammatory, fungicide, lowering blood pressure, lowering blood sugars, relaxing the muscles, "sedating" the uterus. The bark is also about 1/2% hydrogen cyanide, just enough to stop coughing and to relax the bronchial tubes without having any other physiological effects.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---

Astringent tonic, pectoral, sedative.  It has been used in the treatment of bronchitis of various types.  Is valuable in catarrh, consumption nervous cough, whooping-cough, and dyspepsia.

---Dosages---Syrup, B.P.  and U.S.P., 1 to 4 drachms.  Tincture, B.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm.  Infusion, U.S.P., 2 oz.  Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.  Prunin, 1 to 3 grains.

---Adulterant---A spurious cherry bark has been noted which may be distinguished by the fact that no hydrocyanic acid is found when macerated with water. 

Health Benefits of Cherry Bark

  • Improves immunity
  • Prevents cancer
  • Eye Health
  • Mental health
  • Assist digestion


All stone fruits (cherries, apples, apricots, peaches, plums, pears) contain very low levels of hydrogen cyanide in their bark and pits. The concentration is low enough to be considered therapeutic, but donÍt take the whole bottle all at once! Not recommended for small children, nursing mothers, pregnant women, or people with severe kidney or liver disease. Not recommended for long term use.



This herb is sold by the Ounce

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