Herb Spotlight - Wild Cherry

Wild Cherry (Prunus serotina)

Family: Rosaceae

Part Used: Bark

Flavor/Aroma: Sweet; Aromatic

Energetics: Cooling; Bitter



There are a variety of Wild Cherry species, each embodying a variety of therapeutic properties. These trees are easily spotted among forests throughout the United States


Cherry Trees grow throughout the United states, favoring the Southeastern and Eastern regions of the country. They can grow to heights of 50 to 80 feet tall, bearing coarse, dark colored bark and the wood is popularly used in carpentry for a variety of applications. It grows with deciduous leaves with a finely-serrated edge and thick in texture. The flowers express in white solitary florets that mature into cherry fruits.7

Cultivation and Harvesting:

Cherry trees are native to most of the United States, certain species favoring the growing conditions of the Southwest. Its flowers are in full bloom in the later spring months, and the fruit will fully ripen by August or September. The bark is best harvest with care in the spring or autumn when the medicinal potential is at its highest, and when the energy has moved from the flowers back into the trunk and branches.4

Southern Oregon Cultivation:

Wild Cherry trees can be identified in the wild throughout Oregon, favoring dense forests and grows thickest along the edges of habitats; these include spaces such as riverbanks, around ponds, and along the edge of the woods. Its fragrant flowers and luscious fruit provides nutritious sustenance for Southern Oregon pollinators and foragers alike.

History and Folklore:

American Native Uses: The inner-bark and fruit have been used to treat a variety of respiratory conditions including asthma and irritated, dry coughs. It was also used to dispel fevers, stop diarrhea, and remedy colds and flus. The cherry fruits were often used in dishes such as pemmican, which was a mixture of dried, chopped fruits, meat and fat, and was typically eaten in the winter months. The Souix chewed the root of the tree to relieve toothaches and mouth sores, the Crows utilized a tea of bark as a purge, and the Blackfeet drank a tea of the herb while nursing to pass the medicinal benefits to the infant. The Mesquakies used the root bark as a sedative, to aid in stomach pains, and as a treatment for hemorrhoids.6  

Modern Applications:

Wild Cherry is indicated to support a variety of respiratory conditions including irritated mouth and throat tissues, pneumonia, colds and flus, and whooping-cough.7 It is also used to remedy gastro-intestinal upsets, hepatitis, inflammatory and febrile conditions, irritations of the nervous system, and anemia or low iron levels. There is evidence to support the use of Wild Cherry for soothing mucosal tissues of the gastrointestinal, urinary, and pulmonary systems, strengthen weakened circulation, and to stimulate a depleted appetite. It is a rich food source packed with antioxidants, flavonoids, and other valuable nutrients.1,2,4

Uses and Preparations:


Herbal Syrup: 

Infuse 1 cup of organic cherry juice with 1 ounce of Wild Cherry bark  (you can add 1 teaspoon of lemon and honey to taste). Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Strain and store for later use.


2-4 mL up to 3 times daily.

Some herbal tinctures can have a strong flavor on their own. Adding your tincture to a glass of 6-8oz of water is one easy way to help, should you wish to dilute the flavor.  

Recommended Usage:

It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended usage amounts are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the usage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.


It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended usage amounts are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the dosage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.  

Sun God Medicinals products that contain Wild Cherry:

Sunna Ra Herbals Wild Cherry Bark Tincture


We recommend consulting with your practitioner if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, or if you are using any other medications.

Due to the high levels of hydrogen cyanide found in the leaves of Cherry trees, we do not recommend using the leaves in any medicinal preparations unless consulting with and under the supervision of a professional.


  1. García-Aguilar, L., Rojas-Molina, A., Ibarra-Alvarado, C., Rojas-Molina, J. I., Vázquez-Landaverde, P. A., Luna-Vázquez, F. J., & Zavala-Sánchez, M. A. (2015, February 17). Nutritional value and volatile compounds of black cherry (Prunus serotina) seeds. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25690299#targetText=Prunus%20serotina%20(black%20cherry)%2C,are%20used%20for%20treating%20cough.
  2. Food as Medicine: Cherry: HerbalEGram: August 2018. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cms.herbalgram.org/heg/volume15/08August/FAM-Cherry.html?ts=1547781648&signature=6d09f55b3b3561c201268f0622f170df 
  3. Aleshia, Aleshia, Marden, A., & Marden, A. (2018, May 15). Wild Cherry, One of the Great North American Herbs. Retrieved from https://planetherbs.com/blogs/michaels-blogs/wild-cherry-one-of-the-great-north-american-herbs/.
  4. Wild Cherry Monograph. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.herbrally.com/monographs/wild-cherry 
  5. Devon, Devon, American College of Healthcare Sciences, & American College of Healthcare Sciences. (2019, March 28). Respiratory Herbs: Wild Cherry Bark & Medicinal Syrup. Retrieved from https://nittygrittylife.com/wild-cherry-bark-syrup/ 
  6. Black Cherry. (2010, December 6). Retrieved from https://www.cloverleaffarmherbs.com/black-cherry/#sthash.Tz6S3aQJ.dpbs
  7. Prunus Virginiana (U. S. P.)-Wild Cherry. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/prunus-sero.html 

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.