Plant Profiler

Black haw (Viburnum prunifolium)

Black haw (Viburnum prunifolium) Image
Synonyms / Common Names / Related Terms
Aletris cordial, American guelder-rose, blackhaw, black haw viburnum, 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 commonly be known as black haw.

Mechanism of Action


  • Constituents: According to secondary sources, black haw contains salicin, which is chemically similar to acetylsalicylic acid. Research has shown that black haw also contains iridoid glucosides and 1-methyl 2,3-dibutyl hemimellitate.3,4
  • Post-menopausal symptoms and uterine function: Black haw purportedly relaxes the uterus and has historically been used to treat symptoms/disorders associated with menstruation, pregnancy, and childbirth. Although it has been investigated for its effects on post-menopausal symptoms and uterine activity1,2, there is a lack of data supporting its use for these indications.


  • Insufficient available evidence.


  1. Xu, H., Fabricant, D. S., Piersen, C. E., Bolton, J. L., Pezzuto, J. M., Fong, H., Totura, S., Farnsworth, N. R., and Constantinou, A. I. A preliminary RAPD-PCR analysis of Cimicifuga species and other botanicals used for women's health. Phytomedicine 2002;9(8):757-762. 12587700
  2. BALDINI, L., BRAMBILLA, G., and PARODI, S. [RESEARCH ON THE UTERINE ACTION OF VIBURNUM PRUNIFOLIUM.]. Arch Ital Sci Farmacol  1964;14:55-63. 14292799
  3. 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. 5357538
  4. Tomassini, L., Cometa, F. M., Foddai, S., and Nicoletti, M. Iridoid Glucosides from Viburnum prunifolium. Planta Med 1999;65(2):195. 17260259

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