There are two types of Cornus (dogwood) that are commonly used. One is native to America, Cornus florida, and the other is native to China and Japan, Cornus officinalis. The bark, root bark, and berries can all be used medicinally.
While the Western dogwood and Chinese cornus are in the same plant family they have somewhat different healing properties
American dogwood (Cornus florida) is used to treat headaches, fever, and ongoing diarrhea. Applied directly to skin, it can be used to help heal wounds. The bark of the branches and roots are most commonly used and the root bark is considered the strongest and most effective for making medicines.
During the American civil war confederate soldiers would make tea from the bark to treat pain and fevers, and a poultice was made from the leaves that was used to cover wounds.
In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Cornus officinalis is a revered Liver and Kidney tonic herb, often used with other herbs to help treat dysentery, impotence, heavy menstrual cycle, leukorrhea, and speed recovery after an illness. In TCM the bark and the berries are more commonly used.
Find out more about Cornus and how you can be using to support your health.