Information on Cramp Bark

Latin NameViburnum opulus
Other NamesGuelder rose
Part UsedBark
Herb FormsTincture, capsule, bulk herb, powder.
AffectsReproductive system, Nervous system
CautionsNone noted.
Botanical InfoA native shrub of the eastern U.S. with showy white snowball-like flower clusters.
DescriptionTrue to its name, cramp bark is an important remedy for cramps of the smooth muscle (especially for menstrual cramps) but also for intestinal cramps. Its antispasmodic action makes it an important herb when dealing with threatened miscarriage, where it is often blended with blue cohosh. For this use it is best to consult a qualified herbalist or health care practitioner. Cramp bark is also useful in nervous bowel, colic, and migraine.

Cramp Bark has a taste of BITTER, AROMATIC and a temperature of WARM. .


Decoction1 cup 2-3 x daily
Tincture2-4 droppersful 3-4 x daily

Ailments Treated by Cramp Bark

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Dysmenorrheaantispasmodictea, tincture, capsule
Endometriosisantispasmodictincture, capsule
Leg crampsantispasmodictincture, tea, capsule
Menstrual crampsantispasmodictincture, capsule, tea
Miscarriage, threatenedantispasmodictincture, tea
Spasmsantispasmodictincture, tea, capsule


McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Felter, H.W. and J.U. Lloyd. 1983. (1898). King's Dispensatory. Portland, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications.
Wren, R.C. 1988. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs. Essex: C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.
Hobbs, C. and K. Keville. 1998. Women's Herbs, Women's Health. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press.