Black haw is also called black haw viburnum, sweet haw, stag bush, sloe, and sloe-leaved viburnum.
It is found in hedges, woodlands, and thickets in eastern North America, from Connecticut west to eastern Kansas, and south to Alabama and Texas. This deciduous shrub is growing to a height of from 2 to 9 meters. Its branches are spreading, often stinted and naked, giving the plant an unthrifty aspect.
The stem bark and root bark are used for medicinal purposes. The stem bark is harvested in the autumn before the leaves change color or spring before the leaf buds open. The root bark is harvested in the autumn.
Traditional Uses and Benefits
- The North American natives used black haw to treat dysentery and to stop the uterus’s bleeding. It is now considered to be a specific treatment for the relief of menstrual pain.
- The bark contains scopoletin and salicin. Scopoletin is a coumarin that has a sedative effect on the uterus, and salicin is a painkiller used in making aspirin.
- The root and stems bark has abortifacient, anodyne, antispasmodic, astringent, nervine, and sedative properties.
- Black haw decoction can be used internally to treat painful or heavy menstruation, prolapse of the uterus, morning sickness, prevent miscarriage, and relieve spasms after childbirth.
- It is also used to treat convulsive disorders, colic, and other cramping pains that affect the bile ducts, hysteria, asthma, and palpitations of a nervous origin.
Dosage and Precautions
There is no recent clinical evidence to provide dosing recommendations.
Warning! Black haw contains salicin, a chemical relative of aspirin. Those who are allergic to that substance should not use black haw.
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