Wild Cherry - Prunus Spp.

Photo of Sharol Tilgner

This Wild cherry (Prunus spp.) monograph is an excerpt from the 1999, first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA.

Wild cherry - Prunus spp. (in the Rosaceae or Rose family)

Part used: Bark.

Taste/smell: Sweet, bitter, astringent, almond-like taste.

Tendencies: Neutral temperature, drying.

Dosage: Decoction: 1 teaspoon per cup of water; or 1:3.5 dry strength liquid extract: 10-40 drops 1-4 times per day.  See contraindications.

Mental picture and specific indications: Wild cherry is indicated when there is need to nourish and tonify the digestive or respiratory system.

Use: (a) Stimulating astringent, (b) Tonifying expectorant, (c) Quiets nervous irritability.

Wild cherry is an astringent tonic to the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts with sedative actions on the nervous and circulatory systems. It is used as a nutritive tonic in pleurisy, pneumonia, whooping cough, nervous cough, acute inflammatory conditions and febrile diseases. It is useful in all irritations of mucous membranes in pulmonary, urinary and gastrointestinal tracts and indicated for chronic bronchitis, chronic diarrhea and coughs of a general nature. Wild cherry quiets nervous irritability associated with the heart also. In Chinese medicine, it is indicated when there is "heart fire blazing," consisting of palpitations, thirst, sores in the mouth and tongue, mental restlessness, agitation, feverishness, insomnia, rapid pulse, hot and dark urine and the swollen yellow-coated tongue has a red tip.

Contraindications: Wild cherry contains cyanogenic glycosides that can be toxic in large doses or if used long term. It is contraindicated during pregnancy due to the teratogenic effects. The bark and leaves contain small amounts of cyanogenic glycosides and the seeds contain large amounts. cyanogenic glycosides are highest in stressed trees, and wilted leaves or dying tree stems. Do not use freshly harvested bark. Let it dry thoroughly and use from only healthy trees.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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