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    Wild Cherry


    Botanical names:
    Prunus serotina

    Parts Used & Where Grown

    Although native to North America, wild cherry trees now grow in many other countries. The bark of the wild cherry tree is used for medicinal preparations.

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    Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

    For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

    3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

    2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

    1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

    This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

    Used for Why
    1 Star
    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
    Refer to label instructions
    Wild cherry bark is used traditionally to promote mucus discharge.

    Mullein is classified in the herbal literature as both an expectorant, to promote the discharge of mucus, and a demulcent, to soothe and protect mucous membranes. Historically, mullein has been used as a remedy for the respiratory tract, particularly in cases of irritating coughs with bronchial congestion.2 Other herbs commonly used as expectorants in traditional medicine include elecampane , lobelia , yerba santa (Eriodictyon californicum), wild cherry bark, gumweed (Grindelia robusta), anise (Pimpinella anisum), and eucalyptus . Animal studies have suggested that some of these herbs increase discharge of mucus.3 However, none have been studied for efficacy in humans.

    1 Star
    Refer to label instructions
    There is a long tradition of using wild cherry syrups to treat coughs.

    The mucilage of slippery elm gives it a soothing effect for coughs. Usnea also contains mucilage, which may be helpful in easing irritating coughs. There is a long tradition of using wild cherry syrups to treat coughs. Other traditional remedies to relieve coughs include bloodroot , catnip , comfrey (the above-ground parts, not the root), horehound , elecampane , mullein , lobelia , hyssop , licorice , mallow , (Malvia sylvestris), red clover , ivy leaf , pennyroyal  (Hedeoma pulegioides, Mentha pulegium), onion , (Allium cepa), and plantain (Plantago lanceolata, P. major). None of these has been investigated in human trials, so their true efficacy for relieving coughs is unknown.

    Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

    Wild cherry syrup has been used traditionally by herbalists to treat coughs and other lung problems. It has also been used to treat diarrhea and to relieve pain.1

    How It Works

    Botanical names:
    Prunus serotina

    How It Works

    Wild cherry bark contains cyanogenic glycosides, particularly prunasin. These glycosides, once broken apart in the body, act to relieve choughs by quelling spasms in the smooth muscles lining bronchioles.4 Although wild cherry is a commonly used ingredient in cough syrups, there are no published clinical trials in humans to support its use for this indication.

    How to Use It

    Wild cherry tincture or syrup, 2-4 ml three to four times per day, is sometimes recommended for coughs.5


    Botanical names:
    Prunus serotina

    Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

    At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

    Interactions with Medicines

    As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
    The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers' package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

    Side Effects

    Botanical names:
    Prunus serotina

    Side Effects

    At the time of writing, there were no well-known side effects caused by this supplement.


    1. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 155-6.

    2. Hoffman D. The Herbal Handbook: A User's Guide to Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1988, 67.

    3. Boyd EM. Expectorants and respiratory tract fluid. Pharmacol Rev 1954;6:521-42 [review].

    4. Mills SY. Out of the Earth: The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine. Middlesex, UK: Viking Arkana, 1991, 314.

    5. Wren RC. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. Essex, England: CW Daniel Company, 1975, 320.

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