Some of the best natural remedies come from some of the most unusual sources. One of these such remedies is derived from the wild cherry tree (Prunus serotina), a native tree of the United States. Below is more information about this unique tree and how you can use it to treat a nagging, persistent cough:
The key component of the wild cherry tree's medicinal quality is a chemical compound known as glycoside; this chemical family includes prunasin and amygdalin, which is sometimes called vitamin B17, and acts to produce hydrogen cyanide through metabolic processes. Glycosides have been demonstrated to be a potent remedy for a variety of illnesses, including respiratory conditions.
While prunasin and other glycosides can be found in all parts of the wild cherry, they are most often derived from the inner bark of the tree. The bark can be combined with other ingredients to create different tonics and syrups, which can then be administered to treat various disorders. Below are a couple of ways you can utilize raw bark of the wild cherry to take advantage of its glycoside content to treat a troublesome cough:
Create a wild cherry bark cough syrup
1. Obtain fresh wild cherry bark - Wild cherry bark can be purchased from natural health and herbal providers, or you can also harvest your own by stripping the inner bark. Regardless whether you buy the bark or obtain it directly from a tree, It is important to find a reliable source in order to gain the most benefit; if the bark isn't fresh, much of the glycoside may have already been destroyed by exposure to the elements.
2. Chop the wild cherry bark into small pieces - If you purchase bark, and it already has been chopped up, then you can skip the remainder of this step. Otherwise, you will need to reduce larger pieces of bark into smaller ones. This can be done using a sharp, heavy knife or even a pair of pruning shears. Be sure that whatever you use to cut up the bark has been washed in hot, soapy water, then rinsed, to prevent the introduction of undesirable substances from your cutting implement. Cut the bark into bits and pieces about the size of a dime, then store the pieces in a sealed plastic bag inside a dark, cool space until you are ready to use the bark.
3. Extract the glycosides from the bark - Add pieces of chopped cherry bark to a clean mason jar or similar glass container, then slowly pour brandy into the jar until it is nearly full. Seal the lid tightly, then place the jar in a cool, dark place for approximately one month. Once or twice a week during this time, vigorously shake the jar to aid in the extraction process.
4. Complete the cough syrup - Once you have soaked the cherry bark for a month, the glycosides should be transferred to the brandy, so you will need to filter the bark particles from the solution. Pour the brandy and glycoside solution into a kitchen strainer or through a coffee filter to remove the bark, then discard the bark.
After straining, add honey to the brandy and glycoside solution to help mitigate the bitter taste of the mixture. You may add as much honey as you feel necessary, though do not add more than an equal amount to the solution. Seal the bottle tightly, then shake it vigorously for about one minute to create a blended mixture.
5. How to use the cough syrup - To maintain peak effectiveness and prevent loss of potency, the syrup should be stored in an area away from heat sources, such as ovens, heater vents, or near a sunny window. As with an medicinal aid, keep the syrup away from curious children.
Whenever it is necessary to administer the syrup, use a measuring spoon to determine exact amounts. Adults can safely take one tablespoon once every four hours, while children should be administered a teaspoon.
For more information on natural health care, contact a company like Vitamin B17 Professional.