This section is from the book "Botanic Drugs Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics", by Thomas S. Blair. Also available from Amazon: Botanic Drugs, Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
Wild Cherry Bark, Prunus Serotina. Official in the British, Mexican, and U. S. standards.
A glucoside (amygdalin) and an enzyme (emulsion) interacts by hydrolization to form benzolde-hyde and hydrocyanic acid, upon which the activity depends. See "Laurocerasus" for the therapy of the hydrocyanic acid-bearing plants. Wild cherry also contains a bitter and some tannin, as well as phloridzin.
Wild cherry is an aromatic bitter tonic, apt to produce glycosuria. See "Phloridzin." Long administration irritates the kidneys; but if the bark is taken from the twigs and not low down on the tree, the difficulty is largely negatived. Wild cherry relieves irritable cough but is not expectorant. It's a good palliative, vehicle, and bitter tonic. Doses: Fl., 30 minims; syrup, 1 fluidrachm.