Viburnum Opulus: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Dosing, and Efficacy

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Viburnum Opulus: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, and Dosing


Viburnum opulus, commonly known as cramp bark or highbush cranberry, is a flowering shrub native to Europe and North America. Its medicinal properties have been recognized for centuries, and it has been traditionally used to alleviate various health conditions. This comprehensive article explores the uses, side effects, precautions, and dosing of the supplement viburnum opulus.

Medicinal Uses of Viburnum Opulus

Viburnum opulus is primarily known for its therapeutic effects on the female reproductive system and its ability to relieve muscle spasms. Its traditional uses include:

Gynecological Conditions:

  • Menstrual cramps and pain
  • Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation)
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Vaginal spasms

Muscle Spasms:

  • Gastrointestinal cramps
  • Urinary tract spasms
  • Muscle stiffness and tension

Viburnum opulus may also provide benefits for:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough

How Does Viburnum Opulus Work?

The medicinal actions of viburnum opulus are primarily attributed to the following compounds:

  • Glycosides: These compounds have antispasmodic and uterine tonic effects, helping to relax smooth muscles.
  • Viburnin: This glycoside has sedative and calming properties, reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.
  • Tannins: Tannins possess astringent and anti-inflammatory properties, aiding in diarrhea and vaginal discharge.

Side Effects of Viburnum Opulus

Viburnum opulus is generally considered safe for most people when used in recommended doses. However, some potential side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Skin rash


Certain individuals should exercise caution when using viburnum opulus:

  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: The safety of viburnum opulus during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established, so it should be avoided.
  • Kidney Problems: Viburnum opulus should be used with caution in individuals with kidney problems, as it can potentially irritate the kidneys.
  • Surgery: Viburnum opulus may interact with anesthesia, so it should be discontinued at least two weeks before any scheduled surgery.


The recommended dosage of viburnum opulus supplements varies depending on the form and intended use. It is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized dosing recommendations.

Capsules or Tablets: 400-600 mg twice daily Tincture: 1-2 mL twice daily Tea: Brew 1-2 teaspoons of dried bark in 8 ounces of hot water for 10-15 minutes and drink up to 3 cups per day

Drug Interactions

Viburnum opulus may interact with certain medications, including:

  • Anticoagulants: Viburnum opulus may increase the risk of bleeding when combined with blood thinners like warfarin.
  • Sedatives: Viburnum opulus may enhance the sedative effects of medications like benzodiazepines.
  • Diuretics: Viburnum opulus’s diuretic properties may interact with water pills, leading to excessive fluid loss.


Viburnum opulus is a versatile supplement that has been traditionally used for centuries to address various health concerns. Its antispasmodic, uterine tonic, and sedative properties make it particularly effective in alleviating menstrual cramps, muscle spasms, and anxiety. While generally safe when used in recommended doses, it is crucial to exercise caution in certain individuals and to be aware of potential side effects and drug interactions. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using viburnum opulus supplements to ensure appropriate use and safety.

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