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|Wax Myrtle, Southern Bayberry,Candleberry, Bayberry tree
|Morella cerifera syn. Myrica cerifera
|The plant is still used today in the treatment of fever, diarrhea, and a few other ailments. Wax myrtle is a popular herbal remedy in North America where it is employed to increase the circulation, stimulate perspiration and keep bacterial infections in check. The plant should not be used during pregnancy. The root bark is antibacterial, astringent, emetic (in large doses), sternutatory, stimulant and tonic. It is harvested in the autumn, thoroughly dried then powdered and kept in a dark place in an airtight container It is used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, jaundice, fevers, colds, influenza, catarrh, excessive menstruation, vaginal discharge etc. Externally, it is applied to indolent ulcers, sore throats, spongy gums, sores, itching skin conditions, dandruff etc. The wax is astringent and slightly narcotic. It is regarded as a sure cure for dysentery and is also used to treat internal ulcers. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of fevers and externally as a wash for itchy skin.
|Sow seed outdoors in the fall or stratify. Wax myrtle will root from softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings taken in summer. Root cuttings, 2-3 in. long., can be make in early winter.
|Scarification / Stratification
|Cold stratify in moist peat 60-90 days at 34-41 degrees F (1-5 degrees C). Many seeds have a waxy coat that prevents water uptake and stratification. Soaking seeds in hot water or rubbing them vigorously against a rough surface will help remove the wax. Sow in a cold frame.
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