Ozark Encyclopedia – B – Blackhaw

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Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Black Haw – Viburnum prunifolium, V. rufidulum

Parts used: root, bark, leaf, berry

Traditional uses: Infusion taken as an anticonvulsive. Root bark taken as a diaphoretic. Febrifuge. Root taken as a tonic. Infusion of bark used as a wash for sore tongue. Compound infusion taken for smallpox and ague.

The bark, known as Cramp Bark, is employed in herbal medicine. It used formerly to be included in the United States Pharmacopoeia, but is now omitted though it has been introduced into the National Formulary in the form of a Fluid Extract, Compound Tincture and Compound Elixir, for use as a nerve sedative and anti-spasmodic in asthma and hysteria. In herbal practice in this country, its administration in decoction and infusion, as well as the fluid extract and compound tincture is recommended. It has been employed with benefit in all nervous complaints and debility and used with success in cramps…

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