Cramp Bark

Botanical name

Viburnum opulus

Common Names

Guelder-rose, water elder, snowball tree, european cranberry bush




A large bush that produces red berries.

Part supplied

The chopped bark. 

Food Use


Use 1 teaspoon of dried herb to one cup of boiling water to make a tasty tea. Infuse for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or lemon to taste.

Alternatively add half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tincture to a cup of warm water for a quick alternative to tea.

The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.

Medicinal Use

As its name indicates, Cramp bark is used to relieve muscular cramps particularly effective for women experiencing dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation). 

Key actions: Astringent, hypotensive, spasmolytic, mild sedative, peripheral vasodilator.

In clinic: Herbalists use this herb to treat uterine and ovarian pain, hypertension, spasmodic muscular cramps, possible miscarriage and as a partus preparator (prepares for labour).

If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.


Decoction: 1 to 2 teaspoons of herb (2 to 4 g) to a cup of cold water, bring to the boil and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Or steep 1 teaspoon bark in cold water overnight. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.

Tincture: Take 5 to 10 ml (1:5 tincture), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Fluid extract: 1:1 Take 2 to 4 ml, 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Dried Herb: Maximum of 12 g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules.

Other Uses

Cosmetic Use

None known.

Other Uses

None known.



None known.

This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Caprifoliaceae). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children. If in doubt, please ask us or your medical herbalist.

Side effects

None known. Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us.

Interactions with drugs

None known. 

Herbal remedies and supplements can interact with medicines. If you are taking medication please check with your medical practitioner, or call us, before taking herbs, supplements and medication together.

More Information


There are currently no articles related to this herb.


Look in our recipes section for more uses of this herb.


Read the latest PubMed research on this herb.

Add to BagViburnum opulus Cramp bark cut 100g £13.00
Add to BagViburnum opulus Cramp bark cut 1kg £68.99
Add to BagViburnum opulus Cramp bark tincture 100ml £7.99
Add to BagViburnum opulus Cramp bark tincture 500ml £19.99
Add to BagViburnum opulus Cramp bark tincture 1L £40.00

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