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Cramp Barkis a deciduous shrub in the Adoxaceae family, also known as Guelder Rose, Highbush Cranberry and Snowball Tree. Cramp Bark is a tall, flowering shrub with red berries and clusters of white flowers. Native to Europe and has been naturalized to the United States and Canada.
The name Guelder Rose was in honour of the Dutch city of Gueldersland where formal cultivation of the plant originated. Cramp Bark is a national symbol of Ukraine, where the plant is called Kalyna and depicted in traditional folk art, most notably in embroidery. Historically, as the name suggests, the Bark of this shrub is made into extracts and tinctures, while the dried berry is used to make dark dye and ink.
While the berries can be made into jam, the bark is often used in traditional European herbalism for its wellness supporting properties. Historically, the Native American Meskwaki people used Cramp Bark to treat cramps and pains located anywhere in the body; whereas, the Penobscot people used Cramp Bark to treat mumps and swollen glands. The berries of the viburnum plant were sometimes consumed as food and other parts of the plant were smoked as an alternative to tobacco. Cramp Bark was used by Eclectic practitioners of the 19th century for all types of cramping. Indications included dysmenorrhoea, threatened miscarriage, skeletal muscle cramping, ovarian pain, angina, palpitations and spasms of the bladder.
The energetics and taste of Cramp Bark are bitter, cooling, pungent and astringent. Cramp Bark has an affinity towards the cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, kidneys, bladder, nervous system, pelvis, uterus, digestive system and lungs. For support during menstruation combine Cramp Bark with Raspberry Leaf, Ladies Mantle or Red Clover. For support of the cardiovascular system combine Cramp Bark with Hawthorn, Rose or Hibiscus.
How to use:
1 teaspoon of Cramp Bark to one cup of boiling water. Simmer for 15 minutes, strain and drink up to three cups a day.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.