CROATIA. Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus), Cut and Sifted, Wildcrafted
Common Names: Snowball Bush, Highbush Cranberry, Guelder Rose, Water Elder, Obier, Udvesta Chala, Viorne Aubier
Cramp Bark is a deciduous shrub that grows up to 10 feet tall, spreading out up to as much as 15 feet in width. It has has 2- to 4-inch maple-shaped leaves and bears balls of white flowers in the springtime that mature into small, bright red, astringent fruits in late summer and early autumn. Viburnum opulus is native to Northern Europe, North Africa, and North Asia, and naturalized in North America, preferring lowland forests and shaded, moist, sandy soil.
V. opulus bark is anti-spasmodic and has been shown in laboratory studies to relax smooth and skeletal muscle. It relaxes the uterine lining, and so has a reputation as an anti-abortive herb, and as a specific remedy for menstrual cramps that radiate into the thighs.
Cramp Bark’s relaxing effect on heart muscle leads to lower blood pressure and heart rate. Yet it also causes the heart to beat more strongly and pump more blood, most likely because it magnifies the power of acetylcholinesterase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters for reuse after they send their messages).
Cramp Bark has been given to address a range of other issues involving cramps, including migraine, asthma, gall bladder and kidney colic, and intestinal cramps.
Active components of Cramp Bark include coumarins and hydroquinone glycosides.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.