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BAYBERRY

Other Names:

Árbol de Cera, Arbre à Cire, Candleberry, Cirier de Pennsylvanie, Morella caroliniensis, Morella cerifera, Morella pensylvanica, Myrica, Myrica caroliniensis, Myrica cerifera, Myrica heterophylla, Myrica pensylvanica, Myrica pumila, Myrique de P...
See All Names

 Overview
 Uses
 Side Effects
 Interactions
 Dosing
Overview Information

Bayberry is a shrub that grows in Texas and the eastern US. The root bark and berries are used to make medicine.

Despite safety concerns, some people take bayberry for head colds, painful and swollen intestines (colitis), diarrhea, and nausea. In large amounts, bayberry is used to cause vomiting.

Some people also use it to stimulate the circulatory system.

Bayberry is sometimes used as a gargle for sore throat, as a douche for vaginal discharge, and as an ointment for skin ulcers and wounds.

In manufacturing, the wax extract taken from the berries is used in fragrances and candles.

How does it work?

Bayberry contains chemicals called tannins. These tannins have a drying effect on the skin.

Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Colds.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Nausea.
  • 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.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of bayberry for these uses.


Side Effects & Safety

Bayberry is considered POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. Bayberry can cause nausea, vomiting, and liver damage. It also contains a cancer-causing chemical.

There isn’t enough information to know whether it is safe to apply bayberry to the skin or use as a gargle or douche.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Bayberry may NOT be safe for anyone, but it is especially risky for people with the following conditions:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Bayberry is considered POSSIBLY UNSAFE to take by mouth or apply to the skin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding because it contains a chemical that can cause cancer. Bayberry can cause nausea, vomiting, and liver damage.

High blood pressure: Bayberry contains large amounts of chemicals called tannins. Tannins can increase the amount of sodium that the body retains. This can cause extra fluids to build up, and that can raise blood pressure. It’s especially important to avoid bayberry if you have high blood pressure.

Water retention (edema): Bayberry might make edema worse. It’s especially important to avoid bayberry if you tend to retain water.

Interactions What is this?

We currently have no information for Interactions

Dosing

The appropriate dose of bayberry depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for bayberry. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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