Black haw (Viburnum prunifolium)
Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
Aletris cordial, American guelder-rose, black haw viburnum, blackhaw, blackhaw viburnum, Caprifoliaceae (family), Celerina, common guelder-rose, Helonias Cordial, iridoid glucosides, salicin, stag bush, Viburnum opulus L.
Note: Black haw (Viburnum prunifolium) should not be confused with Sideroxylon lanuginosum and Viburnum lentago, which may also be commonly called black haw.
Black haw is a small tree or shrub with oval leaves, pale flowers, and dark blue-black berries.
Black haw is native to southern North America and has a long history of medicinal use among Native Americans. Traditional uses include the treatment of symptoms and disorders associated with menstruation, pregnancy, and childbirth.
There is currently not enough human data available to support any use of black haw.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
No available studies qualify for inclusion in the evidence table.
*Key to grades:A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.
Amenorrhea (lack of menstrual period), bleeding, childbirth (recovery), colic, eye problems, jaundice, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, miscarriage prevention, nervous disorders, pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting, pregnancy problems (limb pain), stomach cramps, uterine disorders.
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (18 years and older)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for black haw.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for black haw.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid in people with known allergy or hypersensitivity to black haw, its constituents, or to members of the Caprifoliaceae family.
Avoid in people with allergy or hypersensitivity to salicin, which is related to aspirin.
Side Effects and Warnings
Because of black haw's potential similarity to salicin and aspirin, Reye's syndrome may be a risk for children taking black haw. Black haw may also increase the risk of bleeding; use cautiously in patients taking blood thinners.
In theory, black haw may affect the uterus.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
There is not enough data to support the use of black haw during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Interactions with Drugs
Because of a potential effect on the uterus, black haw may interact with abortion-causing drugs. Black haw may also interact with drugs that have hormonal activity, such as birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.
Because it contains a substance similar to aspirin, black haw may cause allergic reactions in those allergic to aspirin and related compounds. It may also increase bleeding risk when taken with other blood thinners.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Because of a potential effect on the uterus, black haw may interact with abortion-causing herbs and supplements. Black haw may also interact with herbs and supplements that have hormonal activity, such as black cohosh.
Because it contains a substance similar to aspirin, black haw may interact with herbs and supplements containing salicylates. It may also increase bleeding risk when taken with other blood thinners.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Baldini L, Brambilla G, Parodi S. [Research on the uterine action of viburnum prunifolium.] Arch Ital Sci Farmacol 1964;14:55-63. View Abstract
Jarboe CH, Zirvi KA, Schmidt CM, et al. 1-methyl 2,3-dibutyl hemimellitate. A novel component of Viburnum prunifolium. J Org Chem 1969;34(12):4202-4203. View Abstract
Tomassini L, Cometa FM, Foddai S, et al. Iridoid glucosides from viburnum prunifolium. Planta Med 1999;65(2):195. View Abstract
Xu H, Fabricant DS, Piersen CE, et al. A preliminary RAPD-PCR analysis of Cimicifuga species and other botanicals used for women's health. Phytomedicine 2002;9(8):757-762. View Abstract
Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.
March 22, 2017