Cramp Bark

Cramp Bark

Viburnum opulus

5 min read

Cramp Bark

Actions: Pain Relieving,

Found In: uff! (Touch + Soothe)

Cramp bark is a flowering shrub native to parts of Africa, Asia, Europe and grown a lot in North America. This herb has many names like corteza de calambre in Mexico, Guelder-Rose, and Cranberry bush. Yet the traditional use of the plant—no matter what you call it—has been used to relieve cramps.

The Native Meskwaki people of America have been known to use cramp bark to treat cramps and other bodily pains1, the Penobscot people have used cramp bark to treat mumps and swollen glands—while other Native Americans also have smoked cramp bark as a substitute for tobacco.

The bark of cramp bark is peeled off the tree during the spring and summer months. The bark should be peeled off in strips carefully in order not to kill the tree. The bark is chopped up and dried. Cramp bark can be made into a decoction (a water extract), a tincture (an alcoholic extract), or a topical cream balm or lotion.

  1. Alma R. Hutchens. (1973) Shambhala Publications, Inc. Indian Herbalogy of North America: The Definitive Guide to Native Medicinal Plants and Their Uses, 101, 102.
  2. C ENGAGE. (2020) Cramp Bark, Encyclopedias almanacs transcripts and maps.

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