Wild Cherry

Issue published April 2020

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Letter from the editor

Wild cherry was sort of elusive to me when I first began my herbal journey in Washington. Cherries are grown prolifically there, but they’re delicious orchard cherries, not the small, tart, medicinal wild cherries.

I used wild cherry bark on and off for difficult respiratory issues, but I often stuck to the more prolific and easy-to-find mullein leaf. I first met wild cherry in person while wildcrafting with Michael Cottingham in New Mexico. He showed us how to identify it and how to process the bark. Later that year, I noticed wild cherries all around me, right here in Colorado, in plain sight. I was surrounded by chokecherry bushes too.

Since realizing this wonderful plant medicine was abundant in my bioregion, I have been working with it each year. In the spring, when people cut down trees to clear trails, I will find freshly downed wild cherry trees to harvest bark from. I make a cough syrup with its fruit along with mucilaginous herbs to soothe tissues and high-vitamin-C herbs, like rosehips. This beautiful syrup helps soothe angry lungs and gives a person a good dose of vitamin C. We also use dried wild cherry fruit to help with gout and generally decreasing uric acid in the body.

Cherry blossoms inspire poetry, cherry fruit inspires delicious recipes, and cherry bark helps the lungs. This beautiful tree has been grown and tended alongside people for thousands of years and has been selectively bred with many delicious varieties, but let’s not forget the humble beginnings of the tart wild cherry!

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Articles

Wild Cherry Herbal Monograph
Wild Cherry Coloring Page
The History of Wild Cherry
Sakura: Japanese Cherry Blossoms
Wild Cherry Recipes
Harvest and Create Medicine with Wild Cherry

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