Morella cerifera (L.) Sm.
ALSO KNOWN AS
Morella cerifera, wild cinnamon, Candleberry, Myrica, Myrica cerifera, Myrica pensylvanica, Southern Bayberry, Southern Wax Myrtle, Tallow Shrub, Vegetable Tallow, Waxberry. Not to be confused with barberry.
Bayberry trees grow near swamps and marshes, in sandy soil, or pine barrens. They are widely cultivated in the Eastern U.S. and the British Isles. Before becoming aware of its medicinal properties, American colonists used bayberry in candle making due to the wonderful fragrance of the leaves. The leaves release an intense, pleasant fragrance when rubbed, and are a safe insect repellent for dogs.
Alpha-pinene, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, betulin, calcium, chromium, cobalt, fiber, gallic acid, magnesium, manganese, myricitrin, niacin, phenolic acid, tannins and tannic acid.
Dried root bark and sometimes just the root.
Powders, teas, tinctures, and poultices. The tea should be drunk hot. Poultices are usually made by combining bayberry and slippery elm. In some countries a strong bark decoction is used to kill insects, and in Sweden the tree is burned on fires as a smudge for insect repellent.
The bayberry tree is said to impart good luck and prosperity to the house next to which it is planted. Many rituals involving good luck have revolved around the bayberry tree. For instance, it is thought that if you burn a bayberry candle on New Years Eve you will have good luck the following year, or if you carry a piece of the bark or berries around in a small satchel, or a dry leaf in your wallet, it will attract money.
Specific: No known precautions.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.