Wild Cherry Health Benefits

Wild cherry is native to areas of North America, including the United States and Mexico. The scientific name for wild cherry is Prunus serotina and it is a member of the rose family. Common names include wild cherry, black cherry and chokecherry. Wild cherry has expectorant, sedative, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, according to Natural Home Remedies. The bark, leaves and fruit of the wild cherry tree are used in herbal medicine for a variety of uses.

Wild cherry bark tea should not be given to nursing or pregnant women or children under the age of 2. Consume no more than three cups of wild cherry bark tea per day because wild cherry contains prussic acid. Prussic acid is harmful if taken in large amounts over long periods of time. Wild cherry is not recommended for people with liver or kidney disorders. People allergic to birth pollen may be sensitive to wild cherry bark.

Use one tsp. of ground, wild cherry bark in 8 oz. of boiling water to make tea. Steep for 10 minutes and strain. Add honey, sugar or lemon to improve taste.

Relaxant and Sedative Benefits

Traditionally, wild cherry is used to relieve labor pains, according to the Tea Benefits website. The sedative and vasorelaxant properties of the leaves of the wild cherry calm the smooth muscles of the uterus and bring pain relief during labor. According to a 2009 study in Pharmaceutical Biology, the leaves of the wild cherry plant contain chemical components that have a relaxant effect on smooth muscles.

According to Annie's Remedies, wild cherry has been used to treat insomnia because of its sedative properties.

Lung and Cough Treatment

The vasorelaxant and sedative properties are helpful in the treatment of lung problems, chest and sinus congestion. Wild cherry also has expectorant properties. Wild cherry syrup traditionally has been recommended for whooping cough or bronchitis, according to Natural Home Remedies. Wild cherry has antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Wild cherry is a common ingredient is several cough remedies. The remedy is served as either tea infusion or in syrup form. According to Annie's Remedies, wild cherry is used in Smith Brothers, Lunden's and Vicks cough syrups because of its decongestant and sedative properties and for its pleasant flavor. The relaxant action on smooth muscles acts to relieve coughs by quelling spasms in the bronchiole lining.

Treatment of Hypertension

A 2009 study published in Pharmaceutical Biology verifies the effectiveness of wild cherry's traditional use in the treatment of hypertension. The study verified the vasodilation and vasorelaxant properties found in wild cherry.

Digestive Benefits

Traditional healers have used wild cherry for the treatment of digestion issues, diarrhea and indigestion, according to Natural Home Remedies and Tea Benefits. Relaxant of smooth muscles in the abdomen reduces cramping and gas buildup.

Anti-inflammatory Benefits

According to Natural Home Remedies, the anti-inflammatory properties of wild cherry may reduce eye inflammation when used as an eyewash.

Cancer Treatment

According to a 2006 study published in Oncology Reports, wild cherry bark extract has antiproliferative activity in human colon cancer cells. The authors of the study report it holds promise in the treatment of colorectal cancer.