A well-known tree, reaching 2-7 m in height. Trunks with gray-brown bark, with open old and hanging young branches. The leaves are simple, petiolate, elliptical, pointed, serrated along the edge, glabrous with two linear stipules. The flowers are regular, bisexual, sitting on long pedicels in umbels of 2-5. The calyx falls off after flowering. Corolla five-petal, white falling; stamens many, ovary superior, unilocular. The fruit is a drupe, juicy, dark red. The stone is very hard, light yellow, one-seeded.
Medicinal raw materials are fresh fruits, fully ripe, dark red, harvested in mid-July, and freshly cut young branches, dried tree sap (glue – gum); among the people, in addition, the stalks, leaves and young shoots.
Cherry fruits contain sugars (glucose, fructose), vitamin A (0.3-0.55 mg%), vitamin B (0.2-0.3 mg%), vitamin C (15 mg%), vitamin PP (0.25-0.4 mg%), also organic acids: citric, malic (1.0-1.6 mg%), nitric, tannins, dyes and paracyanin. In addition, copper (1.17 mg%) was found in red cherry fruits.
Cherry pits, when consumed in large quantities, can have a toxic effect, because they contain the glycoside amygdalin (0.85%), which decomposes in the intestine under the influence of putrefactive bacteria with the formation of hydrocyanic acid (5-6% of the accepted amount of amygdalin).
Cherry syrup is used in medicine to correct the taste of liquid medicinal forms (tinctures, decoctions, potions), traditionally making up 1/5-1/10 of their volume.
In folk medicine, cherry fruits and cherry juice are widely used. Cherry juice is prescribed as an expectorant for tracheitis, bronchitis and in the complex of therapeutic agents for bronchiectasis. Aqueous infusions from the pulp of cherry fruits are used as a refreshing and antipyretic remedy for colds, and in addition, they are recommended to increase appetite, to reduce fermentation processes in the intestines and as a gentle laxative. There are indications of a calming and anticonvulsant effect of water infusions of cherry fruits. Cherry seed emulsion and decoctions of stalks have a distinct diuretic effect and are recommended for the treatment of uric acid diathesis and joint diseases. Decoctions from cherry branches have a good antidiarrheal effect and are prescribed for chronic colitis and in a complex of agents for the treatment of intestinal atony. A positive therapeutic effect was obtained when using decoctions of fresh leaves in milk for jaundice of various origins and when using fresh cherry leaves and tampons from them for external bleeding (damage to the skin, mucous membranes, nosebleeds). Cherry glue can replace gum arabic.