Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus)

Traditional Indications

Viburnum Opulus is spasmolytic, sedative, astringent, smooth and skeletal muscle relaxant, cardiac tonic, uterine relaxant and anti-inflammatory It is indicated for cramps, ovarian and uterine pains, spasmodic muscular cramp, uterine dysfunction, menopausal metrorrhagia, threatened miscarriage, partus preparator, infantile enuresis. Viburnum opulus is a specific remedy for visceral tensions. It helps to relax muscular tension and spasm and is primarily used in the treatment of muscular cramps and ovarian and uterine muscle problems. It relaxes the uterus and relieves the painful cramps associated with menstruation. It may also be used in threatened miscarriage. Its astringent action gives it a role in the treatment of excessive blood loss in periods and especially bleeding associated with the menopause. It may also be used to help quieten convulsive states in children. It relaxes the cardiovascular system in hypertension and eases constipation associated with tension. It also relieves migraine headaches. It is also used to treat convulsive disorders, colic and other cramping pains that affect the bile ducts, hysteria, asthma and palpitations of a nervous origin. (1)

Pharmacognosy

Studies examining the effects of Viburnum opulus extract as remedy for the treatment of surgically-induced endometriosis in rats have displayed effective results and that the present study indicates that the effectiveness of V. opulus could be partially attributed chlorogenic acid. Other phenolic compounds could potentiate the activity due to their amount. (2)

A study examining the Influence of Viburnum opulus proanthocyanidins on stress-induced gastrointestinal mucosal damage showed that Viburnum opulus exerts a potent gastroduodenoprotective activity via an increase in endogenous NO generation, suppression of lipid peroxidation and mobilization of antioxidant activity and changes in glycoconjugate content of the gastroduodenal mucosa of rat. (3)

Viburnum opulus fruit extracts displays antioxidant properties showing strong 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity. (4)

1. PFAF. Viburnum prunifolium 2019.
2. Saltan G, Suntar I, Ozbilgin S, Ilhan M, Demirel MA, Oz BE, et al. Viburnum opulus L.: A remedy for the treatment of endometriosis demonstrated by rat model of surgically-induced endometriosis. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2016;193:450-5.
3. Zayachkivska OS, Gzhegotsky MR, Terletska OI, Lutsyk DA, Yaschenko AM, Dzhura OR. Influence of Viburnum opulus proanthocyanidins on stress-induced gastrointestinal mucosal damage. Journal of physiology and pharmacology : an official journal of the Polish Physiological Society. 2006;57 Suppl 5:155-67.
4. Altun ML, Citoglu GS, Yilmaz BS, Coban T. Antioxidant properties of Viburnum opulus and Viburnum lantana growing in Turkey. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2008;59(3):175-80.