Introduction of Wild Cherry Bark:choke cherry and rum cherry bark.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Wild Cherry Bark, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Prunus serotina Ehrh., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Wild Cherry Bark, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Wild Cherry Bark(rum cherry bark).

Cortex Meliae:herb photo English Name: Wild Cherry Bark.
 Latin Name: Prunus serotina Ehrh.Also referred to as Prunus virginiana Mill.
 Common Names: Black cherry, Black Choke, choke cherry, rum cherry bark, Virginia prune bark, wild black cherry.
 Property and flavor: The inner bark has an odor similar to almond, which dissipates on drying.

 Brief introduction: The wild cherry is a native North American tree that can grow to eighty feet or more. The outer bark is rough and dark. The reddish-brown inner bark of the stems, once dried, is used medicinally. Shiny green oval leaves turn yellow or red in autumn, and long spokes of small white flowers give way to fleshy, blue-black fruits.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Wild Cherry Bark as the inner bark of the species (1).Prunus serotina Ehrh. It is a plant species of the Prunus genus, in the Rosaceae family (rose family). The inner bark is used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Prunus serotina Ehrh.

 Prunus serotina Ehrh:fruiting tree Botanical description: Prunus serotina is a deciduous tree, it grows up to 20 meters high with aromatic bark. The bark on large trunks is gray-black and scaly, the inner bark is aromatic. The leaves are obovate to elliptical-oblong, oblong-ovate to lance-ovate, alternate, simple, sharp, and finely serrate with flattened, forwardly directed teeth, 5~12 cm long and 2.5~4.5 cm wide. The leaves are dark, shiny, or glossy green on the upper surface, paler light green, and slightly pubescent on the undersurface, the emerging leaves are often reddish, the leaves turn yellow to orange, then turn to red in late fall. The petiole is 1.5 cm long and glandular.

 Prunus serotina Ehrh:fruiting tree The racemes are 6~15 cm long with about 30 flowers. The perianth remains when the fruit ripens. The 3 to 4 tepals are denticulate and creamy white. The fruit is 8~9 mm across, depressed-globose, and purple-black, turning black in early fall. The endocarp is smooth. The flowering period of black cherry is in late spring after the leaves emerge. The fruit ripens in July and August, each fruit has one round seed, and the green fruit cherry turns dark red, then turns purple-black at maturity during the fall.

 Prunus serotina Ehrh:fruiting tree Ecological environment: Prunus serotina originates from eastern North America, it is a naturally occurring tree in USA (the United States of America), mainly distributed over a wide area east of the Mississippi River. States west of the Mississippi where Prunus serotina can be found are Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and parts of South Dakota, Prunus serotina can also be found in the region, with Prunus serotina growing best in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern USA, the forest climate conditions there are well suited to the growth of Prunus serotina, with stands of Prunus serotina growing to 30 meters (or about 100 feet) in height and 1.2 meters (or about 4 feet) in diameter. In the seaboard area, Prunus serotina tree can grow up to 24 meters (about 80 feet) tall, but 12~15 meters(about 40 to 50 feet) is remarkable on the coast, where high winds and salt erosion are common. The tree also grows in the mountains of North to Canada provinces Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and southern Quebec, south to Mexico and Guatemala, it is also cultivated in Europe and other areas.

 Prunus serotina Ehrh:growing tree Growth characteristics: Prunus serotina also like deep, fertile, slightly moist soil that drains easily, and Prunus serotina trees are grown in a variety of ways. There is seed propagation, cutting seedlings, and tissue culture seedlings. Cultivation points vary according to the north and south planting areas. As with most cherries, the black cherry tree is susceptible to many insect and disease pests. The fallen cherries are forage for various small animals including Red Foxes, Eastern Chipmunks, Eastern Cottontails, White-footed Mice, Gray Squirrels, Red Squirrels, and voles.

 Subspecies: There are three subspecies: ①.Prunus serotina var. alabamensis, ②.Prunus serotina var. rufula, ③.Prunus serotina var. salicifolia, etc.

 wild cherry fruits Uses of wild cherry and fruit: American black cherry wood is light, firm, straight, and fine-grained, the heartwood ranges from light to dark reddish-brown, with a pronounced luster; the sapwood is narrow and nearly white in older trees. The texture of the wood is fine and uniform, making it ideal for machining. Ideal for furniture and plywood veneers, wild cherry wood is highly valued for making fine furniture and musical instruments. In addition to being used as high-quality timber, the black cherry tree can also be used as an ornamental tree for garden greening and is used in building for ornamental detailing of such components as mantels, doors, and paneling. The bark of the young tree is used to extract cough suppressants, tonics, and sedatives.

 picked wild cherry fruits American black cherries are large, with an average fruit weight of 4.5 grams. The fruit is nearly round, with a papillary top. The skin is medium-thick, the waxy layer is medium-thick, the ground color is red and the surface is purple-red, and when it is fully mature, it is purple-black, and the appearance is bright like a pearl. The pulp is orange-yellow, with a soft texture and a lot of juice. The content of soluble solids is 22.6%, the sugar is 17.4%, and the acid is 1.3%. Black cherries are rich in protein, as well as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and other trace elements and a variety of vitamins, vitamin A, B, C, low calorie, and high fiber, the iron content of cherries are very high in fruits, regular eating can make the skin more smooth and moist, mainly because the iron content of black cherries is extremely rich. The fruit can be used to make jelly and fruit wine. The fruit juice is also used to make rum in USA.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.relieve cough and expectorant; ②.mild sedative and tranquilizing activity; ③.tannins and astringent activity, etc.

 Wild cherry bark contains a component called prunasin, which is believed to reduce the cough reflex. As an expectorant, it loosens sticky secretions so that they are easier to cough up, these properties explain its traditional use for bronchitis and other lung disorders.

 Wild cherry bark has a mild sedative and tranquilizing activity, a study identified this activity and attributed it to its component hydrocyanic acid.

 Wild cherry bark contains tannins, it has an astringent property, explained its traditional use for diarrhea, tannins relives diarrhea by reducing inflammation in the intestines.

 Medicinal efficacy: Wild cherry bark was used by Native American tribes as a tea to treat colds, coughs, and diarrhea, and valued for its tranquilizing and sedative effects, the tea was used by Cherokee women to relieve labor pains. It was used traditionally as a general pain reliever, to treat whooping cough, bronchitis, pneumonia, and other similar disorders, even for cancers, it became popularly known by the 19th century and was listed as a mild sedative and expectorant to clear congestion in USA. Today herbalists recommend wild cherry bark for respiratory ailments such as cough, cold, and bronchitis, and as a sedating infusion for anxiety, stress, or sleeplessness. The bark extracts appear in many commercial cough and cold syrups and other preparations, and foods. Its folks medicine uses are for coughs, bronchitis, and whooping cough. It is also used in the treatment of nervous digestive disorders and diarrhea.

 Administration of Wild Cherry Bark (rum cherry bark): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Wild Cherry Bark (rum cherry bark)
Herbal classic books: Dosage: Wild cherry bark is available as syrup or tincture for internal use, and also available in commercial compounded preparations. An infusion is prepared with 1 teaspoon powdered bark per cup of water, is drunk up to three times per day. The tincture is taken in doses of 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon up to three times per day. The syrup is taken in doses of 2.5 to 10 ml.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Taking wild cherry bark in typically recommended amounts has no serious adverse reactions in humans. But the bark, leaves, and fruit contain a chemical similar to cyanide (hydrocyanic acid) that in large doses can cause serious poisoning and even fatal. Never chews the raw bark. Animals grazing on the leaves, which are more toxic than the bark, have suffered severe adverse reactions. As there were reports of birth defects among offspring of female laboratory animals exposed to the herb, pregnant women should avoid wild cherry bark preparations.

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