Wild cherry, Prunus serotina, is aromic and astringent. It has a long history of use in cough remedies (ever wondered why so many cough remedies are cherry-flavored?) It is a cooling remedy that expels phlegm and soothes and dries out mucous membranes, making it helpful for a variety of respiratory and digestive system problems. It may also help normalize histamine reactions in allergies. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is indicated when there is heart fire blazing, consisting of palpitations, mental restlessness, agitation, insomnia, rapid pulse, and a yellow-coated tongue with a red tip.
There is a slight toxicity to wild cherry, so it should not be used in large amounts or for long periods of time. It contains hydrocyanic acid, which, in high doses, may cause spasms and difficulty breathing. Medicinal doses have never proved harmful. Not recommended for use by pregnant women.
This can be taken as an infusion, tincture, wine, glycerite, or syrup.