BAYBERRY: “All American Fever Treatment”
Bleeding Gums, Colds, Diarrhea, Fever, Flu, Sore Throat, Varicose Veins
Also Known As: Candleberry, Tallow Shrub and Wax Myrtle
Early American colonists found the bayberry tree growing though-out the East. They did not use bayberry for medicinal use, they made aromatic candles. Initially, bayberry was only used in the south as a medicine. Louisiana settlers adopted the plant and drank bayberry way and hot water as a cure for dysentery. During the 19th century, a New England herbalist named Samuel A Thompson coined bayberry as being second to hot peppers for producing heat within the body.
For a decoction, boil 1 cup of water using 1 teaspoon of powdered root bark for 10 to 15 minutes. Add milk and drink it cool. No more than 2 cups per day. You may fair better with a tincture. Taste will be bitter.
In a tincture, take one half teaspoon up to twice daily.
USE: (Grow Your Own)
The bayberry has a grayish bark with toothed leaves dotted with resin glands. The leaves when crushed, produce a nice fragrance. Plant seeds in the spring or early in the fall. Small amounts of peaty soil under full sun is great for planting the bayberry. They grow best near swampy areas. Other than pruning, pants require little care. Harvest the root bark after a few years.
Containing high tannin (an astringent compound) amounts make bayberry questionable for anyone with a history of cancer. Adding milk to drinks will neutralize tannin amounts. Those with a history of cancer, particularly stomach or colon cancer should exercise caution or possibly avoid drinking bayberry all together. Consult with you doctor before consumption.