Viburnum opulus

Viburnum opulus                 Common name: Crampbark (V. opulus)
Family: Caprifolicaceae

Part Used:  Dried cortex (bark)

Constituents: Viburnin (glycoside), valerianic acid, coumarins (scopoletin, scopaline), salicosides, resin and 3% tannin, hydroquinone glycosides (arbutin), bitter (viburnin)

Actions:  Antispamodic, sedative, nervous system relaxant, astringent, anti-asthmatic, hypotensive, peripheral vasodilator, muscle relaxant, bitter, uterine tonic, emmenagogue, diuretic

Medicinal use:  Viburnum is a skeletal and smooth muscle relaxant (uterus, bronchial mucous membrane and blood vessels). It can be used both internally topically to relieve cramps (especially menstrual and in uterine & ovarian pain), asthma, and hypertension. Muscle spasms, pain and cramping in any area can benefit from it’s use including back & leg pain, arthritis and polymyalgia.


  • Coumarins (scopoletin, scopaline) are uterine relaxants
  • Hydroquinone glycosides (arbutin) have emmenagogue effects

Pharmacy: Decoction: 1 tbsp/cup water, 1-2 cups TID. Tincture: (1:5; 45%), 5-10 ml TID; for acute up to 5 ml q 1/2 hour or 30 ml q 3-4 h. Powder: 2-4 g TID. Externally as a rub or ointment.

Toxicity: No adverse effects expected. Fresh berries are toxic.

Contraindications: None known.

Interactions: None reported.

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