American Dogwood

Other Name(s):

Bitter Redberry, Box Tree, Boxwood, Budwood, Cornejo Florido, Cornel, Cornelian Tree, Cornouiller Américain, Cornouiller d'Amérique, Cornouiller à Fleurs, Cornouiller à Fleurs d'Amérique, Cornouiller de Floride, Cornus, Cornus florida, Dog-Tree, Dogwood, False Box, Green Ozier, Osier, Rose Willow, Sanguiñuelo Florido, Silky Cornel, Swamp Dogwood.


American dogwood is a plant. People make medicine from the bark.

Historically, American dogwood was sometimes used for treating malaria instead of the drug quinine. American dogwood is still used today as medicine, but not very often.

People use American dogwood for headaches, fatigue, fever, and ongoing diarrhea. It is also used to increase strength, to stimulate appetite, and as a tonic.

Some people apply American dogwood directly to the skin for boils and wounds.

Be careful not to confuse it with Jamaican dogwood.

How does it work?

American dogwood might have some effects against malaria.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Headaches.
  • Fatigue.
  • Weakness.
  • Fever.
  • Ongoing diarrhea.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Malaria.
  • Boils and wounds, when applied to the skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of American dogwood for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

It is not known if American dogwood is safe.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking American dogwood if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


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The appropriate dose of American dogwood 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 American dogwood. 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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