Winter cherry is a plant. It grows in central and southern Europe, Iran, China, and Southeast Asia. The fruit and leaves are used to make medicine.

People use winter cherry for arthritis, enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), fever, swelling, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work ?

There isn't enough information available to know how winter cherry might work.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH).
  • Arthritis.
  • Gout.
  • Increasing urine flow (as a diuretic) in kidney and bladder conditions.
  • Fever.
  • Constipation.
  • Swelling.
  • Preventing pregnancy.
  • Causing an abortion.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of winter cherry for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: There isn't enough reliable information to know if winter cherry is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: There isn't enough reliable information to know if winter cherry is safe or what the side effects might be. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Winter cherry is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken during pregnancy. Winter cherry might prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb. Don't use winter cherry if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. There isn't enough reliable information to know if winter cherry is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Winter cherry might reduce blood sugar levels. Taking winter cherry might increase the risk of blood sugar levels becoming too low, especially if you are taking insulin or other diabetes medications.

Surgery: Winter cherry might reduce blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might increase the chance of blood sugar falling too low during and after surgery. Stop using winter cherry at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with WINTER CHERRY

    Winter cherry might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking winter cherry along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
    Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), and others.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) substrates) interacts with WINTER CHERRY

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Winter cherry might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking winter cherry along with some medications that are changed by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of your medication. Before taking winter cherry, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.
    Some medications that are changed by the liver include acetaminophen, chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte), ethanol, theophylline, and drugs used for anesthesia during surgery such as enflurane (Ethrane), halothane (Fluothane), isoflurane (Forane), and methoxyflurane (Penthrane).


The appropriate dose of winter cherry depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for winter cherry. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.