Chokecherry is a fruit that belongs to the cherry and berry family of the bird-cherry species. Chokecherry was widely employed medicinally by many native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints, valuing it especially for its astringency and beneficial effect upon the respiratory system.
It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. The roots and the bark are a blood tonic, astringent, pectoral, sedative, tonic and appetite stimulant.
An infusion has been used in the treatment of fevers, coughs and colds. An infusion of the root bark has been used as a wash for burns, old sores and ulcers.
The inner bark is used externally in the treatment of wounds. A decoction of the inner bark has been used as a treatment for laryngitis and stomach aches.
The berries treated stomach-ache, liver trouble, sore eyes and the pains and bleeding of childbirth. Dysentery, painful menstruation and bleeding during pregnancy were treated with the inner bark or roots.
The purplish-black fruit is used for making the finest wine, juices, jellies, and jams. Wild chokecherry syrup is delectable on pancakes.
Researchers say those potent antioxidant concentrations will likely mean that purple berries will play a bigger role in the creation of health foods, drinks, and nutritional supplements designed to exploit the health benefits of antioxidants.
Chokecherry contained high levels of anthocyanin pigments (anti-oxidants) and can be considered a good source of these compounds with a concentration that was higher than the levels reported for fruits such as cranberry.Choke cherry grows 20-30 ft. tall and often forms thickets.
Dense clusters of white flowers are followed by red fruit ripening to dark purple from August to September (north) or June to August (south). A Shrub or small tree, often forming dense thickets, with dark red or blackish chokecherries.