Botanical Name: Prunus serotina
- English: Choke cherry, Rum cherry, Wild black cherry, Black cherry, Cabinet cherry, whiskey cherry, choice cherry, and bird cherry
- Also, known as: Virginia prune, Sauerkirsch, Griottier, Cerezo, Ciliegio, Ying-t’ao.
Habitat: North America generally, especially in Northern and Central States
Parts Used: Bark of root, trunk, and branches
Cherry is native to North America. This tree grows from 50 to 80 feet high, and 2 to 4 feet in diameter. The bark is black and rough and separates naturally from the trunk. Wood polishes well, as it is fine-grained and compact, hence it is much used by cabinet-makers. Leaves deciduous, 3 to 5 inches long, about 2 inches wide, on petiole which have two pairs of reddish glands; they are obovate, acuminate, with incurved short teeth, thick and smooth and glossy on upper surface; flowers bloom in May, and are white, in erect long terminal racemes, with occasional solitary flowers in the axils of the leaves.
Fruit about the size of a pea, purply black, globular drupe, edible with a bitter taste, is ripe in August and September. The fruit is rich in nutrients and is an antioxidant. The tree is most abundant and grows to its full size in the south-western States. The root-bark is of most value, but that of the trunk and branches is also utilized. This bark must be freshly collected each season as its properties deteriorate greatly if kept longer than a year. It has a short friable fracture and in commerce, it is found in varying lengths and widths 1 to 8 inches, slightly curved, outer bark removed, a reddish-fawn color. These fragments easily powder. It has the odor of almonds, which almost disappears on drying, but is renewed by maceration. Its taste is aromatic, prussic, and bitter.
How to use:
Decoctions are suitable for roots, barks, large seeds & berries, and other dense material. The simple way to make decoction is, in a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of dried herbs to 1 cup of water. Bring the water to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal decoctions with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.