The history of cramp bark dates back centuries, having been used by various Native American tribes for medicinal purposes. The Meskwaki people took cramp bark mainly for body pains and menstrual cramps, a use that is still prolific today and which gave the plant its alternative name, cramp bark. Other tribes used the plant for distinct purposes, including the treatment of swollen glands and lumps.
The pain-relieving qualities of the plant can be in part attributed to the coumarins, which also have antifungal activity.
Thanks to its antispasmodic properties, cramp bark can help relieve back and leg aches caused by PMS or due to physical activity. The viopudial is the constituent that is responsible for the antispasmodic properties of the cramp bark tree, making it arguably one of the key components, as it can prevent uterine spasms, and therefore cramps, during menstruation. Also, it has been traditionally used during pregnancy, in order to prevent miscarriage and premature labor.
In addition, cramp bark can be used to calm asthma attacks and ease palpitations, as well as for relieving bloating and fluid retention. It is said to have the ability to soothe the nervous system, inducing relaxation.