The bark and wax of Myrica cerifera, Linné (Nat. Ord. Myricaceae). Dry woods and open fields from Canada to Florida. Dose, 5 to 60 grains.
Common Names: Bayberry, Waxberry, Candle Berry, Wax-Myrtle.
Principal Constituents.—Tannic and gallic acids, resins, bayberry tallow (from fruit), 32 per cent; myricinic and lauric acids.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Myrica. Dose, 1 to 60 drops.
Specific Indications.—Profuse mucous discharges, with atony of the circulation; sore mouth and sore throat.
Action and Therapy.—External. Bayberry, in powder, decoction, or specific medicine, may be applied for the relief of spongy, flabby, and bleeding gums, the sore throat of scarlatina with enfeebled and swollen tissues, and to aphthous and indolent ulcerations. As an injection it is valued by some in atonic leucorrhea.
Internal. Bayberry is a stimulating astringent. In full doses it is emetic. It is a remedy of considerable value in relaxed and flabby conditions of tissues with hypersecretion. In small doses (2 to 5 drops of specific medicine) it stimulates the gastro-intestinal glands, favors digestion and imparts tone, thereby increasing blood-making and nutrition. In doses of 5 to 20 drops it is a decided gastric stimulant, and as such may be used in chronic gastritis. It is also of value in chronic catarrhal diarrhea, mucoenteritis, and typhoid dysentery, though the latter is not encountered as much as in former years. It may be given internally, as well as used locally upon the throat, in scarlet fever, in the latter stages, when a flabby and enfeebled rather than highly inflammatory condition exists. As a rule bayberry should not be employed in active conditions, but rather in debility of the mucosa, with feeble venous flow and full, oppressed pulse.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.