My favorite way to use wild cherry is as an addition to herbal cough syrups. I use the bark from fallen branches and slowly decoct it along with herbs such as elecampane, rose hips, and sometimes something like anise hyssop or horehound. It really is best used as a sort of cough suppressant. It is not well suited on its own to treat possible underlying infections from upper respiratory illnesses. The leaves can be used in infusions for lower digestive tract issues. The flowers and leaf and bark can also be tinctured and take on a very strong and lovely almond scent. AND NO, WILD CHERRY LEAF, FLOWER, FRUIT, AND BARK DO NOT CONTAIN CYANIDE. THE INSIDE OF THE PIT DOES.
Common Name: Wild Cherry
Latin Name: Prunus serotina
Parts Used: Leaf, flower, bark
Main Actions: anti tussive, expectorant, astringent, sedative, digestive bitter
Energetics: cooling, drying
Specific Indications: coughs (sedative action), bronchitis, whooping cough, asthma,
digestive discomfort through its bitter action, eye inflammation
(cold infusion of bark applied topically), diarrhea (leaf infusion)
Preparation: infusion of bark (Leaves may also be used)
Syrup (usually used in combination with other herbs)
Contraindications: AVOID DURING PREGNANCY (and most members of prunus family
Probably avoid during breastfeeding (no studies have been done)
Flower Essence (if applicable): Supports and lightens the heavy-hearted; brings joy,
strength and enthusiasm; helps those who are bored, distant
and nonchalant (Delta Gardens)
Other: Does not usually treat chest infection. When used for coughs, other
anti microbial herbs should also be used.
All members of the prunus family have similar properties with regards
to using their leaf for medicine.
Harvest bark from fallen branches only..