Guelder-rose fruits

Guelder-rose fruits

Guelder-rose fruits

Specification & Spread

Guelder-rose fruits — fructus viburni
Common guelder-rose— Viburnum opulus L.
Honeysuckle family — Caprifoliaceae

It is a branchy shrub or a small tree 2-4 m tall. The bark is greyish-brown.
The leaves are opposite, broadly ovate or round in shape. It is 3-5 laciniate and coarsely toothed along the edge. The flowers are pentamerous and white. On the tops of young branches it is situated in corymbose inflorescences. In the inflorescence the marginal flowers in the inflorescence are barren, with a wheel-like corolla 1-2.5 cm in diameter. The median ones are fertile, bell-shaped, bisexual, fragrant and about 0.5 cm in diameter. The fruit is a spherical bright red drupe up to 1 cm with a flat stone.

It blooms from May to July and bears fruit in August – September.

Spreading. It is widely spread in the middle belt of the European part of the country, in the Middle and Southern Urals, in the south of Western and Middle Siberia and in the Caucasus. In parks and gardens it is bred as an ornamental, food and medicinal plant.

Habitat. It grows in the undergrowth and along the edges of sufficiently wetted deciduous and mixed forests, in the thickets of shrubs, along ravines, river banks, lakes and the outskirts of marshes.


Guelder-rose fruits contain:

  • ascorbic, chlorogenic, neoclorogenic, caffeic, ursolic, and isovaleric acids,
  • carotenoids,
  • flavonoids,
  • anthocyanins,
  • sugar,
  • vitamin P,
  • tannins and pectins,
  • amino acids,
  • sitosterol,
  • organic acids. It is rich in potassium salts.

The seeds contain up to 21% of fatty oil.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The fruits are harvested in the period of full maturity and dry weather. It is cut off together with the stem, so that it is not damaged during harvesting.

Drying. The fruits are dried in dryers at a temperature of 60-80 ºC, less often in air under canopies, in attics, hanging panels with fruits in bunches. After drying, the stem is separated. The raw material is cleaned from impurities of the twigs which are old, moldy and damaged by pests of fruits.

Storage. It is stored in a dry and dark place.

It is rounded, flattened on both sides, wrinkled, shiny stone-fruits which are 8-12 mm in diameter. It has an inconspicuous remnant of the stab and sepals and a recess at the place of separation.
In the pulp there is one difficult separable flat heart-shaped stone.
The fruit colour is dark red or orange-red. The stones are light brown.
The smell is weak.
The taste is bitter-sour.

Properties and application

Pharmacotherapeutic group. Sudorific and anti-inflammatory agent.

The pharmacological properties of guelder-rose fruits

Guelder-rose fruits strengthen the contraction of the heart and increases diuresis.
It also has diaphoretic and anti-inflammatory properties.
The fruits and guelder-rose bark containing isovaleric acid have a calming effect on the nervous system and have antispasmodic properties.
The infusions of guelder-rose flowers (5 and 10%) have a pronounced antimicrobial effect against sarcina, lemon yellow staphylococcus, and false-syphilic ulcer bacillus

Application of guelder-rose fruits

Guelder-rose fruits are used as a sedative and antihypertensive agent:

  • with hypertension,
  • climacteric neurosis,
  • in asthenic conditions, as a general tonic, stimulating the work of the heart.

Guelder-rose fruits are a source of vitamins.

The fruits are applied for:

  • the excitation of gastric secretion in case of its insufficiency. It is used as: easy laxative agent.
  • disinfectant for colitis, atonic constipation,
  • antitussive agent.

Guelder-rose fruits are not recommended for gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer.