this is a very old remedy with a long and decorated history.
many great herbalists have dearly loved bayberry.
it is considered to be very safe and of diverse utility.
it grows plentifully on my land and a a well established hedge of bayberry bushes began encroaching on a path,
so i pulled up some of the newer growths on a new moon in late autumn and tinctured the roots fresh.
if i'm being honest, i almost never have the occasion to use it.
EXCESSIVE DAMPNESS OR DRYNESS
i would consider it in situations where there is an issue with excessive fluid loss and dampness
in this regard it has been historically of diverse and reliable utility,
it's a stimulating astringent with good normalizing action on the periphery and has mild antimicrobial effects.
my cat has stomatitis and drools a lot, even though most of his teeth have been removed.
i give him a few drops of tincture in water from a syringe.
MANAGING THE PERIPHERY
it is worth mentioning here that managing the periphery is a very important aspect of immunity in TCM
it's like your first line of defense
and can be the difference between whether or not you actually come down with something that you've been exposed to
even if symptoms are just starting to settle in.
i prefer elderberry or elderberry mullein for pending cold and flu situations
but use white horehound, ginger, mullein + orange peel for covid
and it works really well. it seems like it's better to 'clean off' the lungs and put something bitter and nasty like white horehound to ward off pending cooties
as opposed to elderberry's approach of ampping up the immune system and cleaning up the systems that would be hit the hardest.
bayberry would be a really good choice for our new modern cootie because like white horehound it kind of shows up and starts cleaning surfaces, opening tubes and pipes and tuning everything up. it manages the periphery nicely so if your pores are too closed it will open them and induce a bit of sweat to clean up the stuck stuff that's been there for awhile.
if you're too open and vulnerable it will close the periphery down. it is a *normalizer* and this is an important concept to understand in herbal actions.
plants were alive and have survived the adversities of their environments.
as remedies (at proper doses) they maintain that intelligence
and are often adaptive to the internal environment. they bring balance between the polarities of possibilities.
the body does its best to maintain homeostasis to the highest potential available considering its circumstances
remedies like bayberry come in and lend a helping hand, allowing the body to do more than it was able to on its own.
the eclectics swore that bayberry was an important protection against communicable pathogens in a time when tuberculosis and other such plagues were rampant.
and before the eclectics the general public found it to be an extremely important remedy 'to protect against witchcraft and all evils'
this is a remedy that was once infamous and important that has fallen into relative obscurity.
its berries contain wax and were boiled down to make the first scented candles for Yule and other special occasions.
it has an air of being an important and dependable ally to humanity.
modern practitioners don't talk about it very much but i think there's a lot of potential for bayberry to have a renaissance.
OPENING OBSTRUCTIONS, TONIFYING AND CORRECTING CIRCULATION
it is most often a part of a larger formula with more specific actions.
the eclectics were wild about it and pointedly used it in small doses
they seem to use it to open obstructions throughout the body and to correct general circulation
with specific attention to balancing the inward/outward business of the periphery
cold hands and extremities being a big indication here.
it's also important to note that headaches or migraines could be a big indication here
and that the obstructions do not have to be literal, but can be the sensation of obstruction.
they used bayberry quite a lot for headache issues.
it's also important to note that 'opening and cleansing' remedies
often reinforce and protect membranes and passages that may be involved in passing stones
as their actions can stir up and sweep out debris of all kind.
it is therefore important to note that bayberry does not cause stones to form
but instead cleans out the body in such a way that you may not have known about them before bayberry crunched them up and sent them out.
there is a vast amount of literature regarding bayberry specifically in the realm of child birth
for which i would consider it of incredible value.
i don't have connections with midwives but would consider this to be a core remedy in their line of work.
because bayberry opens and closes you can see how it would be of great use in labor.
it is said to open the body for the birth, swiftly send out the baby and after birth then tone and astringe the body to minimize bleeding.
this is an excellent demonstration for how herbs work as medicine when chosen properly;
they help the body do what it is already trying to do on its own.
they are fuel and tools for the body's inherent wisdom of how to maintain and correct itself.
this is why low doses of the proper remedies work so well, they're like advice or validation for the system already knows.
when the body becomes imbalanced, often times quiet advice is all that is needed to remind the system what is correct.
this is especially useful in situations like childbirth that are not typical processes that they body goes through often.
i do have some dried leaves if you need them for tea or broth.
i consult for free for your safety and benefit. please feel free to reach out with questions or an outline of your situation
and i would be happy to help you find the most minimal + effective remedy or regimen to suit your specific needs. be well!