Bayberry – Medicinal Benefits

The bayberry grows as a large evergreen shrub or small tree that is widely distributed throughout the southern and eastern US. It is known for its small, bluish-white berries. It grows up to height of 3-8ft.  Plant parts used include the fruits, leaves, bark, and roots. Geographical location and differing methods of harvesting, processing, and storage result in varying constituents in the juice and extract.

Bayberry has pungent, bitter and astringent taste. Its berries are globular in shape and grow in Clusters.

Scientific Name

Myrica cerifera and Myrica rubra

Common Name

Bayberry also is known as wax myrtle plant, candleberry, Chinese bayberry, red bayberry, waxberry, and yang-mei.

Hindi name- kafal, kaaphal

Chemical composition of bayberry

It consists of flavonoids, triterpenes, teraxerol, teraxeron, tannis, etc

Medical properties if bayberry

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-convulsant
  • Anti-spasmodic
  • Anti-pyretic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Digestive
  • Decongestant
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-microbial

What is it used for?

Traditional/Ethnobotanical uses

The bayberry is best known for its berries, from which a wax is derived to make fragrant bayberry candles. In folk medicine, bayberry has been used as a tea for its tonic and stimulant properties, and for treating diarrhea. Among Native Americans, the leaves were used to destroy parasitic worms, the leaves and stems were used for treating fever, and the roots were applied as a poultice. It is also reported to have been used as a charm medicine to exorcise spirits of the dead and to prevent diseases. The dried root bark often is used medicinally and as a dyeing/tanning agent.

General uses

  • Due to its analgesic properties, bayberry relives all kind of pain
  • It relives excess mucus and cure cold and cough
  • Circulatory system can be treated by this herbs
  • Anti-inflammatory properties helps to cure colitis and other inflammatory condition
  • This help in lowering the temperature by inducing sweating
  • It help in induce mensuration as well as abortion as it increase contraction of uterus
  • Headache can be treated by its analgesic property
  • Owing to its decongestant properties it helps in sinusitis, pharyngitis and other similar inflammatory condition
  • Herbal tea make from bark and leaves helps to treat digestive disturbance
  • Hemorrhoids and varicose veins can also be treated by local application of this herb.
  • Doing gargle with its decoction give soothing relief to sore throat.
  • Leucorrhea can be treated by doing douche of its decoction

Bayberry has been used traditionally for many conditions; however, clinical trials are lacking to validate these claims. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities have been demonstrated in only 1 small clinical trial and animal data. Some protective effects on the liver were seen in few studies.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Sore throat, when used as a gargle.
  • Vaginal discharge, when used as a douche.
  • Skin ulcers and wounds, when applied to the skin.
  • Other conditions.