Myrica cerifera

Bayberry - Myrica cerifera (in the Myricaceae or Wax Myrtle Family)

Parts used: Bark.

Taste/smell: Astringent.

Tendencies: Cooling, drying.

Dosage: Decoction: 1 teaspoon per cup of water; or 1:5 dry plant liquid extract:1-30 drops 1-3 times per day in a little water.

Mental picture and specific indications: The mental picture of this herb is one of suffering from sleeplessness, despondency, irritability, or indifference.

Use: (a) Astringent, (b) Styptic, (c) Tonifier.

Bayberry's tonifying effect is for atonic tissues with discharges due to over-relaxation. It is used for ulceration of the mucous membranes and digestive tract, passive hemorrhages and venous atony and congestion. The astringent aspect of bayberry makes it beneficial in mouth rinses.

Contraindications: The irritating wax of the young branches contains constituents that are reportedly carcinogenic. It is contraindicated in pregnancy unless used under the guidance of a trained professional.

Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.