Bayberry - Myrica cerifera (in the Myricaceae or Wax Myrtle Family)
Parts used: Bark.
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.