Wild cherry bark has been used for centuries in folk medicinal remedies. Early settlers and Native Americans soothed throats and lungs using the bark and leaves of wild cherries. Cherry cough drops have been a staple in many households over decades for throat irritations, colds and allergy issues. While wild cherry bark may have medicinal properties for many issues, it is highly noted for its potent power in preventing allergy and respiratory issues. It is always best to use under the care of a health practitioner.
What are Allergies?
Over 35 million people suffer from some sort of allergy in the United States, according to the book, “Allergy Relief & Prevention.” Allergies stem from excessive consumption of disruptive food, contaminated air and environmental toxins into a body with weak immunity. If the chest cannot deal with the invading toxins, then the lungs start to produce excess mucous. Mucous then tries to expel through the nasal cavities causing runny noses. Allergies left untreated lead to more health complications down the road. Using natural remedies, confronting emotional upsets along with a whole foods diet will send one on their way to allergy prevention. While there are a multitude of herbal remedies and herbal concoctions that aid allergies, asthma and hay fever, wild cherry bark is very effective on its own for treating allergy complications.
What is Wild Cherry Bark?
Wild cherry bark, sometimes called choke cherry or Virginia prune, stems from the inner bark of the black cherry tree. Wild cherry bark, derived from the rose family, contains phytochemicals including quercetin. Quercetin is an immunity booster and also helps control wheezing and sneezing. Nutrients found in the bark are calcium, potassium, zinc and magnesium, all which strengthen the immune system. Wild cherry bark is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and helpful for sinus issues and respiratory problems. It acts as an expectorant, decongesting the lungs. It has the ability to quell spasmodic bronchial muscles for asthma sufferers. Wild cherry bark has similar properties to codeine and is considered a vaso-relaxant to nasal passages and bronchial muscles. It slows the flow of mucous for hay fever issues as well.
Dosage and Forms
Wild cherry bark must not be used during pregnancy or nursing. It is also not advised for those with kidney or liver dysfunctions. It is safe to use in small doses, but not to be used on a long term basis. Wild cherry bark contains prussic acid, which is poisonous in large quantities. Wild cherry bark has very low amounts of this acid.
Wild cherry bark can be purchased at most health food stores or natural pharmacies in powdered, supplement or syrup forms. It is common to find fruit, bark and the leaves of wild cherries being formulated into natural remedies. If using a powder, anniesremedy.com recommends using one teaspoon of bark to one cup of hot water. Altering ones diet to all whole foods is also crucial for calming allergy issues. Decreasing dairy, excitotoxins and processed foods sets the path for a healthy recovery.
“Allergy Relief & Prevention”; Francis Taylor, MA, Jacqueline A. Krohn, MD, Erla Mae Larson, RN; 2000
"Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; James Balch, MD, Phyllis Balch, CNC; 2003
Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons