Wild Cherry (Prunus spp)
Wild Cherry is a variety of cherry that belongs to the Rocaceae family that are found in almost all the continents, from Northwestern Africa, Europe, The British isles, western Asia and the Himalayas. The plant parts are largely toxic containing the chemical ingredient cynogenic glycosides except for the fruits when they are ripe. The groups of Wild Cherry plants are often cultivated for food because of their fleshy fruits and include plum, cherry and peach. The fruits have a small seed with a lot of flesh surrounding it which earns them the name stone fruits. When the Wild Cherry twigs are broken, they emit an odor akin to that of a bitter almond. Leaves of the plant are evergreen and deciduous. Wild Cherry produces an inflorescence of flowers that are pink or white in color. The leaves and seeds of the Wild Cherry are toxic and generally never consumed.
Wild Cherry is used when there is need to tonify or to nourish the digestive system and the respiratory system. it is used in three main ways, to quiet irritability of the nervous system, as a tonifying expectorant and as stimulating astringents. The sedative actions of Wild Cherry extract on the circulatory and nervous systems and as an astringent to the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts is one of their main uses. Other uses include as a nutritive tonic in febrile diseases, acute inflammatory conditions, nervous cough, whooping cough, pneumonia and pleurisy.
The irritability associated with the heart can be tranquilized with Wild Cherry extracts including several irritations of the mucous membranes that include coughs of general nature, chronic diarrhea, chronic bronchitis, gastrointestinal and urinary tracts and the pulmonary systems. Wild Cherry has specifically been used by the Chinese in a range of diseases that they call heart fire blazing. Heart fire blazing conditions consist of agitation, insomnia, feverishness, hot and dark urine, rapid heart pulse, a yellow coated tongue that has a red tip, sores in the mouth and tongue, thirst and other palpitations that arise on their own or that are associated with other diseases affecting the body.
The range of medicinal functions that Wild Cherry can perform is owed to the list of chemical ingredients that it contains. These ingredients include prunasin, hydrocynic acid, resins, gallic acid, tannins, starch, amygdaline like substances and a cyanogenic glycoside that will increase during fall in the photosynthesizing bark.
Dosage and Administration
A decoction is usually made from the bark and can have an almond like taste, a bitter or a sweet taste. A teaspoonful is placed in water and drank 1 to four times daily. A dry liquid extract in the ratio of 2 to 7 is used daily taking 10 drops in a cup of water up to four times in a day. Industrially extracted and commercially packaged wild crafted dry bark of Wild Cherry prunes spp is mixed with glycerine, with an alcohol content of 35 percent or a minimum of 30 percent. The herbal strength is 1 to 3 top five for a dry prunus bottle. Before use, the bottle has to be shaken thoroughly though the particulate elements of the product may be different. 20 to 60 drops are added to a cup of water and used the whole day, 3 or 4 times.
The bark of the Wild Cherry is the most often used. The fruits, when ripe can also be used. The seeds and the leaves are potentially toxic because of the cynogenic glycosides content. The toxins are broken down through substances contained in the leaves. Any instance of poisoning from the herb can be quickly treated with sodium thiosulfate or sodium nitrates which are component of methemoglobin drugs.
There are other benefits of Wild Cherry that are not medicinal. Obviously, the wild cherry fruits have been food for human, birds and some animals since time immemorial. The beautiful nature of the tree makes it cultivable for beauty in gardens and for fruits of course.
Long term use of Wild Cherry extracts is not recommended as it exposes you to toxic cynogenic glycosides. Its usage is specifi9cally contraindicated for pregnancy because of the potential teratogenic effects on the new born.
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