Cherry (Prunus avium) for Herbal Naturopathy: properties, benefits, uses, side effects

The cherry tree (Prunus avium) belongs to the Rosaceae family. Known for its anti-inflammatory and draining properties, it is useful against water retention, cellulite and in case of kidney stones. Let’s find out better.

Properties of the cherry tree

The stalks or petioles of the still unripe cherry fruits are used against water retention and as adjuvants in the treatment of cellulite, due to their marked draining properties, conferred by the presence in the phytocomplex of large quantities of potassium salts. Furthermore, the mucilagestannins, and phenols make the plant an effective anti- inflammatory remedy for the urinary tract, useful in the treatment of cystitis, urethritis and nephritis; and as a diuretic, to eliminate uric acids in the treatment of gout, kidney stones and gravel.

How to use


DECOCT: 1 level spoonful of cherry stalks, 1 cup of water 
Pour the chopped stalks into cold water, turn on the heat and bring to a boil. Boil for a few minutes and turn off the heat. Cover and leave to infuse for 10 min. 

– Cherry mother tincture: 40 drops in a little water three times a day between meals.

Contraindications of the cherry tree

Cherry is contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding. It can produce side effects in case of hypersensitivity to one or more components contained in the drug. 

Description of the plant

Small tree with a slender trunk has a pyramidal crown, with a more rounded age. The bark, when young, is smooth reddish and gray, has horizontal bands with numerous elongated lenticels which are also horizontal; with age it becomes dark red-brown. The leaves are slightly leathery, smooth, hairless, and shiny. It has hermaphroditic flowers, long pedunculated, with a green and hairless calyx, composed of 5 sepals that bend backwards and a corolla formed by 5 white petals fringed at the apex. The fruits are drupes that ripen a couple of months after pollination, round about 1 cm, with a ripe, sweet juicy, edible and dark red epicarp, highly sought after by birds (aviummeans, “of the birds“), but also by mammals. 

The habitat of the cherry tree

Originally from Asia and the Caspian Sea area, it is cultivated as a fruit tree, but it also lives wild in the woods or on the edges of fields, throughout the national territory.


The Cherry proper is the Prunus avium; while the Amareno, also called Visciolo or Amarasco is the Prunus cerasum, whose fruits are also called sour cherries and they make a syrup, tasty jams, frequently used in pastry and a liqueur called Visciole wine.

This hypothesis seems the most reliable, as archaeological studies have discovered finds of cherry seeds of prehistoric origin, corroborating the thesis that these fruits arrived in Europe through birds, which are greedy for them and for this reason the plant is also known by the name Prunus avium (which means “of the birds”). 

The medicinal properties of the fruits of the many varieties of cherry trees, as well as from Galen and Dioscorides, were also known to the doctors of the Salernitana School (XI century) who report in their texts “… if you eat cherries you will have great advantages because they purge you the stomach. The seed takes away the stones and their pulp will be good for your blood. “

Fruit peduncles have also been, and still are, used as diuretics in folk medicine.

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