Black Haw

What other names is Black Haw known by?

Blackhaw, Nanny Bush, Southern Black Haw, Stag Bush, Viburno, Viburno Americano, Viburnum, Viburnum lentago, Viburnum prunifolium, Viburnum rufidulum, Viorne Américaine, Viorne à Feuilles de Prunier, Viorne à Manchettes.

What is Black Haw?

Black haw is a shrub that is native to the woodlands of central and southern North America. People use the root bark and its extracts to make medicine.

Black haw is used for increasing urine (as a diuretic) to relieve fluid retention; and for treating diarrhea, spasms, and asthma. It is also used as a tonic.

Women use black haw for treating menstrual cramps and spasms of the uterus after childbirth; and for preventing miscarriage.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of black haw for these uses.

How does Black Haw work?

Black haw contains a chemical that might relax the uterus.


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Are there safety concerns?

Black haw stem bark is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in food amounts. Black haw root bark is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth as a medicine. So far, no side effects have been reported.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to use black haw if you are pregnant. It might affect the uterus.

It's also best to avoid using black haw if you are breast-feeding. Not enough is known about its safety.

Aspirin allergy: Black haw contains chemicals called salicylates. There is some concern that these salicylates could trigger an allergic reaction in people with asthma or aspirin allergies.

Kidney stones: Because black haw contains oxalic acid, it might increase stone formation in people with a history of kidney stones.

Dosing considerations for Black Haw.

The appropriate dose of black haw for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for black haw. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.


Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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Reviewed on 9/17/2019

BALDINI, L., BRAMBILLA, G., and PARODI, S. [RESEARCH ON THE UTERINE ACTION OF VIBURNUM PRUNIFOLIUM.]. Arch Ital Sci Farmacol. 1964;14:55-63. View abstract.

Jarboe, C. H., Zirvi, K. A., Schmidt, C. M., McLafferty, F. W., and Haddon, W. F. 1-methyl 2,3-dibutyl hemimellitate. A novel component of Viburnum prunifolium. J Org Chem 1969;34(12):4202-4203. View abstract.

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View abstract.

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Upton R, Petrone C, eds. Black Haw Bark, Viburnum prunifolium: Analytical, quality control, and therapeutic monograph. American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium. Santa Cruz, CA: American Herbal Pharmacopoeia. 2000.