Cramp bark is a deciduous shrub, native to Europe and naturalized in North America. It can grow as tall as 15 feet. The woody bark is used medicinally. 3-lobed leaves, about 2 to 4 inches long, grow opposite each other along the branches. The leaves somewhat resemble maple leaves. The white flowers are both male and female. They bloom in the early summer and are insect-pollinated. Internally and externally, Cramp Bark was used by Herbalists in Eastern Europe for relieving muscle spasms. It was also used for calming coughs.
History and Folklore:
Cramp Bark is said to have first been cultivated in the Dutch city of Gueldersland. Guelder Rose is, therefore, another name for Cramp Bark. Cramp bark is a national symbol of Ukraine, where it is known as Kalyna and depicted in traditional embroidered folk art.
Cultivation and Harvest:
Harvest the bark early in the autumn before the leaves turn brown. The bark should then be dried for use in powders, teas, and tinctures.
Do not use if pregnant or nursing.
Traditional Herbal Actions:
Antispasmodic, Nervine, Diuretic
Guelder Rose, Water Elder, European Cranberry bush, Snowball Bush
Tincture Ingredients: Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus)
*These statements have not been verified by the FDA and are only referenced here as a fun fact and/or for historical commentary, not to be used as medical advice in any way. Consult your doctor before ingesting any herbal product.
None of these items or statements are approved by FDA. Consult your physician before taking any supplement. Do not take herbs or tinctures during pregnancy without consulting your healthcare provider. This product is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. All information here is for entertainment and educational purposes only.