Prunus serotina


Botanical Name: Prunus serotina
Common name: Wild Cherry
Family: Rosaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 575)
Parts used: Dried bark (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 575)


  • Cyanogenetic glycoside (“prunasin”)
  • Benzaldehyde
  • Eudesmic acid
  • p-coumaric acid
  • Scopoletin
  • Tannins

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 575)



  • Antispasmodic
  • Antitussive
  • Astringent
  • Bitter
  • Expectorant
  • Nervine

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 575)



  • Irritating coughs (bronchitis and whooping cough)
  • Asthma (in combination)
  • Improve sluggish digestion
  • Eye inflammation (topical)

Often used in combination as it will ease a cough, but not necessarily heal an infection (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 575)


Preparation & Dosage

Tincture: (1:5 in 40%) 1-2mL/tds

Decoction: 1 tsp dried bark/1 cup water/tds

Eye wash

(Hoffmann, 2003, pp. 575-576)



Large doses are considered toxic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 576)


Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Image: Spruill, J. (2009). North Carolina Native Plant Society. Retrieved from:

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