wild cherry bark fruit

Wild Cherry

Prunus serotina – bark

Wild cherry bark is a notable example of an antitussive, a remedy that quells coughing. Its powerful sedative action on the cough reflex means its main indication is dry, unproductive cough and thus it has a role in the irritating and persistent cough of bronchitis and whooping cough. It is especially helpful for coughs that prevent someone from sleeping or for the persistent dry cough that lingers long after other symptoms of a cold or flu have abated.

Wild Cherry Bark has been scheduled by the TGA and is no longer available. Use Grindelia.


  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Immunomodulatory.
  • Analgesic.
  • Bacteriostatic.


  • Joint disease including:
    Rheumatoid arthritis
    Bone fractures, muscle and joint pains
    Tendon and ligament injuries
    Soreness and weakness in the lower back and knees
    Symptoms in Lyme disease.

None known.

The analysis of contents below is a guide only, product specific data including expiry date is with the item in the shop.

Prunus serotina 1:2. Each 1 ml contains 500mg of dry herb.

Liquid extract in 25% ethanol. Use 15 to 30 ml weekly.

Our clinic uses fluid extracts from Optimal Rx, Herbal Extract Company, Nutrition Care, Mediherb or Sunray Botanicals, in this order.

Early colonists in America found Native Americans using wild cherry to relieve coughs but also as a sedative and treatment for labour pain, diarrhoea and general pain and soreness in the chest. They adopted the Native American uses for the herb but also widely used it to treat bronchitis, whooping cough and pneumonia that plagued their communities. Wild cherry was one of the most popular botanical medicines of the 19th century, both by itself and as an ingredient in numerous patent medicines.

Wild cherry is high in antioxidants that can cool inflammation. Practitioners reach for wild cherry when there are signs of heat and excess whether it is a spasmodic dry unproductive cough, excess uric acid deposits causing painful gout or an excessive immune system response like seasonal allergies. It is also a great ally for aiding digestion (the aromatic and bitter aspects) and supporting heart health (modulating inflammation), similar to its close relative hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna).