(Myrica cerifera)

This shrub grows most plentifully in towns bordering on the sea, although it is found in the interior, in neglected fields, and on the side of stony hills. It grows in the New England States from three to five feet high, and bears small berries, of which candles are sometimes manufactured, combined with tallow.

The bark of the root is the only part used for medicinal purposes, and should be gathered in the spring before the bush vegetates, or in the autumn before it has shed its foliage, as the sap is then in the bark, and consequently possesses a greater degree of medical virtues. The roots should be dug and thoroughly cleansed from dirt, and while green the rind may be easily separated from the trunk by pounding it with a wooden mallet; after which, dry the bark well, and pulverize it to the consistency of ordinary flour, and it is then ready for use.

Properties And Uses

Bayberry is both astringent and stimulant, producing a pungent sensation upon the glands; it is therefore an invaluable medicine for canker, whether located in the mouth, throat, stomach, or bowels. It is an excellent article for bowel complaints, and if given freely in the commencement, will generally cure. It makes an excellent tooth-powder to cleanse the mouth and gums. There are many other articles useful for canker, but bayberry is decidedly the best.


It may be used either in the powder, about a teaspoonful at a dose, by mixing a little sugar and warm water to it, or making an infusion, and drinking freely of the tea