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Bayberry Root Bark

Veterinarian Reviewed on January 10, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Bayberry Root Bark


The scientific name of the Bayberry tree where the Bayberry Root Bark is gathered is Myrica cerifera and its common names are American Bayberry, Bayberry wax tree, Candleberry, Wax Myrtle, Katphala, Myrtle, and Wax berry.

The Bayberry tree is crude, firm, and slender and can grow between three and eight feet tall. Bayberry Root Bark is brownish-gray and smooth, while the leaves are slender at the base. The root barks are best gathered during the fall. When the root barks are well dried, they can be pulverized and stored in sealed pottery or dark glass containers.

The Bayberry Root Bark can be made into either a tea or into a tincture, whilst the leaves and branches can be placed in camping tents as insect repellants.

History and Origin

The Bayberry tree belongs to the Myricacease family that is widely found throughout the entire eastern and southern regions of the United States. Herbalists vouch their reputations on the usefulness of Bayberry as a medicine and in botanic practices. A warm tea made from Bayberry Root Bark is a good tonic with stimulant and astringent attributes.

However, very little study was made on the herbal properties of Bayberry Root Bark. The only existing analytical procedures were those made during the year 1863, which is not considered very primitive. In 1980, based on the outdated methods, a list was published that included myricinic acid that was never chemically characterized.

Only recently did a chemical investigation show that the Bayberry Root bark actually contains three triterpenes; taraxerol, myricadiol, and taraxerone in its medication. A flavonoid glycoside named Myricitrin was also found in the bark.

Ancient Uses
Bayberry Root Bark was widely used as a cure for diarrhea and as an emetic when taken in large doses. As poultices, it was effective for the treatment of chronic ulcers.

Bayberry Root Bark was also commonly used to increase blood circulation, stimulate perspiration and control the spread of infections. It was also a favorite cure for common cold, coughs, sore throat and strengthening of the gums. A paste made by powdering the root bark was applied to sores and ulcers.

Modern Uses

Bayberry Root Bark teas are effective as astringent and emetic for diarrhea and chronic gastritis. It is also a good remedy for excessive menstrual bleeding and uterine discharge. The powder form of Bayberry Root Bark is an effective ingredient of the so-called composition powder that is widely used for sinusitis, asthma, laryngitis, colds and flu.

Bayberry Root Bark tincture or tea is highly recommended in aiding bacterial and viral forms of diarrhea and other bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. It is also good as a natural antibiotic to build up the immune system of the body.

Side Effects

Care should be observed when taking Bayberry Root Bark as it may interact with some drugs including blood pressure medications, anti-coagulants, and antibiotics. It is advised that before undergoing any herbal supplement program to consult first a health care provider or a physician. Bayberry Root Bark when used to treat diarrhea should be regulated as the Bayberry tea can also trigger diarrhea as well. It can lead to low blood pressure, kidney irritation, and vomiting. Adding milk to the tea will help counteract the bad effects.

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Read also: Psoriatic Arthritis

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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