The 3+ Benefits of Prunus Virginiana (Bitterberry Or Western Chokecherry)

Prunus Virginiana (Bitterberry Or Western Chokecherry)



In this post, we will discuss the composition and potential benefits of the North American Chokecherry. 


  1. Basics Of Chokecherries
  2. Composition Of Chokecherries
  3. Benefits Of Chokecherries
  4. How I Use Chokebherries
  5. Where To Get Chokecherries
  6. Caveats
  7. Mechanism Of Action
  8. More Research

Basics Of Chokecherries

Prunus Virginiana (chokecherry) should not be confused with Aronia Melanocarpa (chokeberry), which has the highest amount of polyphenols per any fruit.

Prunus virginiana, commonly called bitter-berry, chokecherry, Virginia bird cherry and western chokecherry is a species of bird cherry (Prunus subgenus Padus) native to North America. R

Traditionally chokecherries were widely used by Native Americans both as a food, such as wine, juice, and wasna (a mixture of dried berries and dried meat) and as a medicine. R

Composition Of Chokecherries

Phenolic Acids: R

  • chlorogenic acid
  • caffeic acid
  • ferulic acid
  • sinapic acid

Anthocyanins: R

  • cyanidin 3-glu/gal
  • delphinidin 3-glu/gal
  • cyanidin 3,5-diglu
  • delphinidin 3,5-diglu
  • petunidin 3-acetylglu
  • cyanidin 3-p-coumarolylglu

Carotenoids: R

  • β-carotene/lycopene
  • β-cryptoxanthin

Vitamins: R

  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Vitamin B6
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Choline

Benefits Of Chokecherries

1. Rich In Antioxidants And Vitamins



Menthol extracts of chokecherries have shown the fruit to have high levels of antioxidants (see composition above). R

Chokecherries have higher free-radical scavenging abilities than strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, saskatoon berries, and seabuckthorn. R

Chokecherries are moderately high in anthocyanins, compared to blueberries (high). R

2. May Help With Inflammation

Chokecherries in a water extract has shown to reduce Lipopolysaccharide-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1b. R

3. May Be More Efficient For Oil Production

Chokecherry can produce 1.5-2.5x the amount of oil produced by a canola/wheat rotation. R

How I Use Chokecherries

I’ve recently been making sure to eat all my fruits in a Hormetic fashion (over a year now).

I’ve been using it as Syrup in combination with Honey to sweeten my smoothies.

Where To Get Chokecherries



The chokecherry fruit usually made as a Jam, Jelly, or Syrup.


Chokecherry is toxic to horses, moose, cattle, goats, deer, and other animals with segmented stomachs. R

Mechanism Of Action


  • Reduces IL-1b R

More Research

  • Chokecherry the official fruit of the state of North Dakota. R