High cranberry, Viburnum opulus, known also as cramp bark, is a shrub growing in swamps and damp localities of the Northern United States. The bark of this shrub was used by the Indians as a diuretic, a decoction being freely employed. According to Rafinesque (535), pills and plasters were also devised from this plant, and the bark was smoked, instead of tobacco, by some of the Western Indian tribes. The leaves of Viburnum opulus and other species were used by the Indians as a tea, and also by the settlers of the Southern States in early Colonial days. The domestic use of viburnum did not impress the medical profession to any extent until the day of Beach (49), as is evidenced by the fact that such conspicuous authorities as Zollickoffer (706), and even the United States Dispensatory, 1833 edition, neglected to mention either the plant or its uses.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.