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Botanical Name: Myrica cerifera

Common Names: Bayberry, American bayberry, bayberry wax tree, myrtle, wax myrtle


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 Choctaw Tribe in the Southern Americas used bayberry medicinally in a decoction of leaves for treatment against fevers. Eventually, settlers learned of its ability to treat dysentery and it was popularized in the North during the 19th century by noted herbalist Samuel A. Thompson. He recommended it for "heat" within the body related to fever and dysentery, as well as for colds, flu and other infectious diseases. The leaves release an intense, pleasant fragrance when rubbed, and are a safe insect repellent for dogs.

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. The original use of bayberry was in treating "cankers," at one time understood to be accumulations of cold at various sites in the body. Tannins make bayberry bark astringent, sealing over sites of inflammation and infection in the mouth, gums, and throat, and stimulant, inducing productive coughs that release phlegm. An alcoholic tincture of the bark may reduce sensitivity of the prostate to testosterone and research is ongoing. A tea gargle is said to help a sore throat, as well as helping to stop bleeding gums.

Magical/ Occult: Bayberry can be used for money spells - and can be used to attract love and friends into your life. Used for success and protection as well. Can be added to mojo bags, dream pillows and incense. This herb is also used around Yule to bring forth prosperity and health for the new cycle.


Disclaimer: The information presented here is for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with a qualified healthcare provider before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, have any medical conditions or prescribed to medication.

Bayberry Bark

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