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Black Haw: Jam or Vaginal-Tonic, Anyone?



A New World shrub that was briefly considered as a commercial fruit crop [3], Black Haw was studied widely as a gynecological aid (primarily for treating dysmenorrhoea or painful mensuration) and abortion preventative medicine [5] [8] in the late 19th century. Viburnum prunifolium was used among Native Americans for fresh berries, to make jam, reduce muscle spasms, induce sweating, and fight fevers/smallpox/flu in addition to its use as a gynecological aid[6]. 

V. prunifolium's reputation as an abortion preventative medicine was so great that rumors once stirred that the Virgin Mary Herself carried the plant with Her [9]. Looking at the record as a whole, the opinions on the efficacy of black haw's use as a drug (from the perspective of the 19th century medical community) seems to be somewhat split. Physicians of the time either gave highly positive reports in support of its action in relieving symptoms of dysmenorrhoea, or flippantly wrote off the plant as being completely inert as a medical drug. 

Black haw was first listed on the official United States Pharmacopeia roster in 1880; today, is listed on the Food and Drug Administration's coveted GRAS list (Generally Recognized As Safe). That of course doesn't mean everything.

So listen up, ladies! I have some important advice about your vaginal health to share with you! 

* Ahem! 

Please consult a physician if you are suffering from any of the complaints listed in this article; this site is not a source of medical advice. 

"Welcome to the vagina-pampering and sweet berry-producing world of black haw!" 
  Your Future Baby

By Kevin Healey