Cramp Bark for PMS After 40

After 40, when hormones start changing, many women experience erratic periods and increased PMS. Thankfully, cramp bark can ease cramping and make periods better.

Cramp Bark for PMS After 40 from Wile, Cramp bark berries against a blue sky

Un-Cramp Your Style with Cramp Bark 

By adulthood, many women feel like we have our periods down pat — we know our cycle, we know our favorite period product brands and we know just when to pick up an extra carton of chocolate ice cream. 

And then comes perimenopause. With ever-changing hormone balance for women over 40, it’s normal to feel like your cycle is a little (or a lot!) off. Many women experience increased PMS symptoms, including a surge in period cramping, even if cramps were never a big issue before. 

No one needs an extra dose of period pain, so cramp bark is here to help. 

Why We Love Cramp Bark

  • While typical meds can mask the pain signal going to your brain, cramp bark relaxes your uterine muscles, stopping period pain right at the source. 
  • It’s right there in the name, folks. Cramp bark reduces period cramps, and we love it for that, plain and simple.
  • Cramp bark contains a compound called methyl salicylate, which is chemically similar to Aspirin’s active ingredient, salicylic acid. This means that cramp bark provides mild pain relief. 
  • Recent studies have identified cramp bark as a potential treatment for endometriosis. Endometriosis is a chronic condition in which tissue that should only grow inside the uterus grows elsewhere in the body. It causes pain, menstrual irregularities, and can mess with fertility. Because the medical community tends to overlook women’s health conditions, there’s a shocking lack of research on endometriosis. If cramp bark can help, we’re all for it and awaiting further information. 

Key Benefits: 

Reduces Cramps - So, how does this work? Period cramps are strong contractions in your uterus that cause your uterine lining to shed. Unfortunately, you can’t voluntarily relax your uterus like you would the muscles in your arms or legs. Cramp bark is an antispasmodic, which means that it reduces muscle tension and relaxes your muscles, including your uterus. Relaxed uterine muscles don’t cramp, so cramp bark stops period pain before it even begins. 

Improves Circulation - Another benefit of cramp bark’s muscle relaxing power is that it improves circulation. Relaxed muscles have better blood flow and are better at removing waste than tense ones. This is especially important during perimenopause, because a drop in estrogen levels is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, including poor circulation.

Plays Nice With Other Herbs - In herbal medicine, it’s more common to take multiple herbs together than just one. This is because compounds in different plants complement each other, cancel out side effects and generally work better together. Cramp bark is no exception. It pairs well with other herbs like chaste tree berries aka vitex, which also feature in our 40+ Period Support supplement

Traditional Uses:

The cramp bark tree features prominently in Ukrainian culture and traditional medicine. This beloved bush has been traditionally used there in the following ways:

  • Bark - stop miscarriages and slow bleeding, including postpartum hemorrhage 
  • Flowers - treat coughs, colds and stomach pain 
  • Berries - reduce stress, relax blood vessels and decrease muscle tension     

Native American traditional medicine used cramp bark for:

  • Cramps
  • Swelling and fluid retention
  • The mumps
  • Eye issues

Throughout history, the berries have been used to treat scurvy, as they’re rich in Vitamin C. 

While long traditional history backs cramp bark use for PMS and other applications, there are still few clinical trials investigating how it works. 

About the Cramp Bark Tree: 

The cramp bark tree (also known as the guelder rose, kalyna, water elder, European cranberry, snowball tree or may rose) isn’t actually a tree at all! It is a tall shrub that grows up to 15 feet tall, with green, three-lobed leaves, clusters of white flowers and bright red berries. 

It grows in Northern Europe, parts of Asia, and North America. While some herbalists use the flowers, berries and bark, our 40+ Period Support supplement harnesses the power of cramp bark to improve PMS symptoms. 

Found In (Wile Products)

Things to Know about Cramp Bark:

On top of its medicinal qualities, the cramp bark tree, or kalyna, is the national symbol of Ukraine. It features heavily in Ukrainian folklore and music, and its bright red berries are cooked and eaten in traditional meals. The plant symbolizes courage, femininity and the resilience of the Ukrainian people.

Cramp bark has few side effects, but it’s always good to talk to your medical provider before adding new herbs into your wellness program. 

If you’re sensitive to aspirin, you may also be sensitive to cramp bark because it contains a compound that is similar to salicylic acid, Aspirin’s active ingredient.

There are mixed views about whether cramp bark is safe during pregnancy. While most herbalists approve of its use, make sure that you talk to your provider before starting cramp bark if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Clinical Research
  • Dietz, Birgit M., Atieh Hajirahimkhan, Tareisha L. Dunlap, and Judy L. Bolton. “Botanicals and Their Bioactive Phytochemicals for Women’s Health.” Pharmacological Reviews 68, no. 4 (September 30, 2016): 1026–73. 
  • Saltan Gülçin, et al. “Viburnum Opulus L.: A Remedy for the Treatment of Endometriosis Demonstrated by Rat Model of Surgically-Induced Endometriosis.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 193 (December 3, 2016): 450–55. 
  • Cleveland Clinic. “Estrogen & The Heart: Risks, Benefits & Side Effects,” n.d. 
  • De La Foret, Rosalee. “Cramp Bark (Viburnum Opulus).”, n.d. 
  • Gianetto-Berruti, Alessandra, and Valter Feyles. “Effects of a Herbal Formulation on Premenstrual Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal SOGC 23, no. 9 (August 31, 2001): 817–24. 
  • Herdman, Rachelle. “Menstrual Cramps Are Helped by Cramp Bark.” Pacific Center for Naturopathic Medicine, April 21, 2022. 
  • Indigo Herbs. “Cramp Bark Benefits,” August 7, 2020. 
  • RxList. “Cramp Bark: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dose & Precautions,” June 11, 2021. 
  • Saltan, Gülçin, Ipek Süntar, Serkan Özbilgin, Mert Ilhan, Mürşide Ayşe Demirel, Burçin Ergene Öz, Hikmet Keleş, and Esra Küpeli Akkol. “Viburnum Opulus L.: A Remedy for the Treatment of Endometriosis Demonstrated by Rat Model of Surgically-Induced Endometriosis.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 193 (December 3, 2016): 450–55. 
  • The Free Library. S.v. The kalyna in Ukrainian folk medicine & folklore.." Retrieved Feb 10 2023 from
  • Shoemaker, SaVanna M. “What Is Cramp Bark, and What Is It Used For?” Healthline, October 3, 2019. 
  • Whelan, Richard, Dip. M.H. NZAMH AHG. “Cramp Bark.” Richard Whelan, Medical Herbalist. Accessed February 10, 2023.

This article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to replace a one-on-one medical consultation with a professional. Wile, Inc researches and shares information and advice from our own research and advisors. We encourage every woman to research, ask questions and speak to a trusted health care professional to make her own best decisions.
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