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Cramp Bark - Choose Form
Botanical Name: Viburnum opulus
Origin: USAScroll down and choose capsule or powder.
Viburnum opulus is a deciduous shrub in the Adoxaceae family. Native to Europe, the plant is now naturalized in North America. Cramp bark has white flowers resembling snowballs and clusters of red berries. While the berries can be made into jam, the bark is often used in traditional European herbalism for its wellness supporting properties. Cramp bark is also referred to as guelder rose and is an important plant in Slavic folklore and art. The bark can be decocted, infused, or tinctured.
According to a study published in the "Journal of Medicinal Chemistry", the antispasmodic properties of Cramp Bark are due to the presence of the coumarin derivative, scopoletin. It also contains volatile oils that help to soothe and relax the uterine cramps so commonly associated with the menstrual cycle. The bark also contains methyl salicylate which is a weak acting precursor to the salicylic acid that is used in aspirin, but much less irritating to the gastric mucosa than over the counter medications, making it beneficial for pain too.
According to contemporary herbalists, Cramp Bark will not stop the symptoms of period pains by altering the body’s chemical pain signalling system (like analgesic drugs), instead it helps to treat the cause of the pain by releasing tension in the area the pain is coming from . For this reason it can be useful to use dose “little and often” until the cramping subsides. There is some anecdotal evidence that Cramp Bark can significantly improve menstrual migraines, possibly due to its ability to relax the muscles of the neck and upper back.
Cramp bark has a lengthy history of use for women's health issues, including menstrual cramps, as well as endometriosis and miscarriage
The astringent action of Cramp Bark also helps to slow down heavy menstrual bleeding and especially bleeding associated with the menopause.
The antispasmodic action of Cramp Bark benefits mothers who have just given birth by soothing post-partum contractions. This genius herb can reduce muscle tension without inhibiting muscle function, allowing to the contractions to continue with their important work. It also relieves after-birth cramping pains and can regulate heavy bleeding, preventing excessive blood loss.
The anti-spasmodic compounds in Cramp Bark work on all other types of cramp in the body too. These include; bronchial, gastrointestinal, genitourinary and skeletal muscle spasms. As a skeletal muscle relaxant, it is particularly effective for leg cramps.
Taking Cramp Bark in conjunction with magnesium is recommended by many herbalists. This is due to the symptoms of magnesium deficiency manifesting as cramps and muscle spasms, this combination can be especially useful to athletes.
Nervous System Support
It also restores sympathetic and parasympathetic balance in voluntary and involuntary muscle spasms of the autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic controls fight or flight, whilst the parasympathetic controls rest and digest – balance between these two systems is vital to overall vibrant health. Together they ensure that there are enough resources in the right place at the right time.
The relaxing action of Cramp Bark also allows for increased circulation and blood flow – muscles that are relaxed work more efficiently and improved blood flow aids in the removal of waste products from the body. It also has vaso-dilatory properties which widen the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily and exerting a positive effect on blood pressure.
Cramp Bark is also rich in valerenic acid, most popularly associated with the sedative herb Valerian. It was listed in the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) from 1894 – 1916 as an anti-spasmodic and sedative. Its mild sedative effect can be enhanced by combining with other hormone regulating, sedative herbs.
These days, the bark and root bark of this plant are still used to make medicine. As the name suggests, cramp bark is used for relieving cramps, including muscle spasms, menstrual cramps, and cramps during pregnancy. Cramp bark is also used as a kidney stimulant for urinary conditions that involve pain or spasms.
No known precautions. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.
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