Wild Cherry Bark Powder
Botanical Name - Prunus serotina
Other Names - Choke Cherry, Wild Black Cherry, Rum Cherry
Origin - USA
Flavor Profile - Tart and slightly sweet. Flavor of wild cherry tea or syrup is intensified with hibiscus flowers or rose hips.
Culinary Usages - Use wild cherry bark powder in teas and to flavor other beverages. Rarely encapsulated.
Aromatic Usages - The powder may also be used in incense blends.
For many people, the flavor of wild cherry bark is instilled in memories of children’s cough syrup and throat lozenges. Although the flavoring agent used today for these products is often artificial, the flavor choice remains popular.
Using wild cherry bark at home is easy, but it must be handled with care. Unlike other hard materials that need to be decocted, or simmered in boiling water, wild cherry bark must be allowed to steep in hot water and never boiled, or the active compounds in the bark will be lost.
Wild cherry bark is also used to make a traditional beverage specific to the southern Appalachians called cherry bounce. Because the tonic is typically fortified with brandy or rum, the bark is known in the region as rum cherry bark.
Precautions - Do not consume wild cherry preparations in large doses due to potential cardiac activity. The herb also interferes with medications broken down by CYP3A4 enzymes in the liver.
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