Myrica. Myrica cerifera.

Botanical name: 

Synonyms—Bay Berry, Wax myrtle, Candle Berry, Wax berry.


The powdered bark, from twenty to thirty grains.
Of the wax, one dram.
Of the decoction of leaves or bark, from two to four ounces.
Tincture, from five to forty drops.
Specific myrica, from two to twenty drops.

Specific Symptomatology—The agent is a stimulating astringent. It is indicated when there is excessive mucous discharge, where catarrhal conditions exist in any locality, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Also where atonic diarrhea, or persistent diarrhea, accompanies prostrating disease; also where there is feeble capillary circulation of the mucous membranes, accompanied with phlegmenous ulceration. Locally and internally in sore mouth, with spongy, bleeding gums.

Therapy—It is a remedy for those conditions where the vital powers are at low ebb. It aids the nutrition, stimulating the absorption of food, and promotes the restoration of depraved blood. It is considered a valuable alterative. In any condition where the mucous surfaces have lost tone, and are throwing out a profuse discharge, it may be given with advantage. It has been found valuable in epidemic dysentery. In conjunction with capsicum, its stimulating and tonic properties are plainly apparent. Combined with geranium, it is of superior benefit, where the patients have taken mercury and where ptyalism has been induced. It assists in the more rapid elimination of the mercury from the system. Combined with asclepias, it is of much value in breaking up recent severe colds. Unlike most astringents, it materially improves excretion, secretion and the functional action of the glandular system.

In chronic stomatitis, of whatever form, where the breath is bad, and there is slow ulceration, the mucous membranes being dark colored, this remedy in combination with other indicated remedies, will effect a rapid cure. If the stomach is foul, and the breath and fecal discharges are offensive, it should be given with an emetic, until the stomach is thoroughly evacuated. In combination with sanguinaria it will be found useful in removing abnormal growths from the post-nasal cavity. Sufficiently diluted, and combined with hydrastis, it may be applied to the mucous surfaces, in chronic nasal catarrh.

It is valuable in the treatment of very severe forms of measles and scarlet fever. It is especially useful in the persistent sore throat of scarlet fever when the tissues are swollen and spongy. Given in conjunction with antispasmodics, it will improve the action of that class of remedies, in many forms of convulsions.

Scudder claimed that the agent was a stimulant to the essential processes of digestion, blood-making and nutrition. The remedy may be given to advantage to those patients who are afflicted with chronic malarial symptoms and jaundice, with imperfect liver action, who are troubled with headaches, which are worse in the morning. The tongue is coated yellow, there is weakness and the patient complains of muscular soreness and aching in the limbs. The pulse is slow, the temperature is inclined to be subnormal. There is dull pain in the right side. No appetite, unrefreshing sleep, or where there are catarrhal conditions of the bile ducts resulting, in jaundice.

The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.