Viburnum opulus

Viburnum op, also knows as Viburnum opulus (common name guelder-rose) is a species of flowering plant in the family Adoxaceae (formerly Caprifoliaceae) native to Europe, northern Africa and central Asia



The term cramp bark is related to the properties of the bark’s ability to reduce smooth muscle tightness. It is called cramp bark as relieving this type of muscle tightness is most often associated with relieving women’s menstrual (period) cramps. However, this can also be used during pregnancy for cramps or pain and general muscle cramping.


(a) Antispasmodic, (b) Astringent, (c) Nervine, (d) Cerebrospinal vasostimulant, (e) Hypotensive, beta 2 receptor agonist, (f) Carminative, (g) Restores sympathetic and parasympathetic balance in voluntary and involuntary muscle spasms (g) Anti-inflamatory.

Cramp bark is used for bronchial, gastrointestinal, genitourinary and skeletal muscle spasms. Due to its astringent and antispasmodic nature it is useful for menstrual cramps with excessive blood loss. Cramp bark’s astringent action also benefits atonic conditions of the pelvic organs, like uterine prolapse. It is also helpful with asthma and threatened miscarriage where there is a spastic uterus and has been used to prevent habitual abortions, morning sickness, premature contractions, and hemorrhage during labor and post-partum. As a skeletal muscle relaxant, it is wonderful for leg cramps.

Viburnum prunifolium (Black haw), a relative in the Caprifoliaceae family, is used similarly although V. opulus is thought to be a stronger antispasmodic. Although research has shown dose-dependent uterine antispasmodic action both in vivo and in vitro with V. prunifolium extract V. opulus extract was shown, in vitro on rat uteri, to be four times more active than V. prunifolium at relaxing uterine contractions. V. prunifolium contains the antispasmodic constituent, esculetin, and V. opulus contains the more potent antispasmodic, viopudial. Both species have demonstrated uterine sedative activity. Initially researchers thought V. prunifolium contained salicin; which was proven later to be arbutin. Viburnum prunifolium contains beta-sitosterol which is a phytoestrogenic sterol.

A volatile oil extracted from V. opulus has uterine sedative activity.


The fruit is edible in small quantities, with a very acidic taste; it can be used to make jelly. It is however very mildly toxic, and may cause vomiting or diarrhea if eaten in large amounts.


  • None are recorded. Please consult your doctor.

Other names

Bois à Quenouille, Boule de Neige, Common Guelder-Rose, Crampbark, Cranberry Bush, European Cranberry-Bush, Guelder Rose, Guelder-Rose, High Bush Cranberry, High-bush Cranberry, Obier, Rose de Gueldre, Snowball Bush, Viburno Opulus, Viorne Aquatique, Viorne Aubier, Viorne Obier, Viorne Trilobée


Source:  Wikipedia,,

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