Herbs Guide

Cramp Bark

Family Name: Caprifoliaceae

Botanical Name(s): Viburnum opulus

Popular Name(s): Snowball Tree, King's Crown, High Cranberry, Red Elder, Rose Elder, Water Elder, May Rose, Silver Bells, Gaitre Berries, Black Haw, Guelder Rose

Parts Used: Bark

Habitat: Cramp Bark is found in Europe and America.

Description: Cramp Bark is a deciduous shrub growing up to 4-5 m in height. Its leaves are opposite, three-lobed and are 5-10 cm in length. Its white flowers are produced at the top of its stems in corymbs of 4-11 cm in diameter. Each corymb possesses a ring of outer sterile flowers which are 1.5 - 2 cm in diameter. The outer ring surrounds a center of small, fertile flowers. Its fruits are in the form of globose bright red drupes, 7-10 mm in diameter and contain single seeds.

Uses: Cramp Bark is used as anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, nervine, astringent and emmenagogue. It relaxes the uterus and relieves the painful cramps associated with periods. Its astringent action prevents excessive blood loss in periods.