What is Box myrtle? Benefits, Uses & Side Effects of the Kaiphal - Tea for Cough & Cold

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. What is Box Myrtle? 
3. Ayurvedic properties of Box Myrtle (Kaiphal)
4. Health Benefits of Bayberry
5. Traditional Formulations and Recipes
6. Uses of Myrica esculenta
7. Side Effects of the Kaiphal
8. Box myrtle Tea Recipe
9. Frequently Asked Question

1. Introduction

Box myrtle, also known as Myrica esculenta or Kaiphal, is a medicinal plant found in the Himalayan region. The Bayberry, a fruit produced by the Box myrtle, is used in traditional medicine for its various health benefits, including respiratory health and immunity boosting. However, it is important to note that excessive consumption of the fruit can lead to side effects such as nausea and vomiting.

The article "Box myrtle Tea for Cough & Cold" explores the use of Box myrtle tea as a natural remedy for respiratory ailments such as coughs and colds. The article provides a brief introduction to the plant and its benefits, as well as instructions on how to prepare and use the tea.

2. What is Box myrtle?

Box myrtle botanical name is Myrica Esculenta and some common names are bayberry, kaiphal, Myrica Nagi, nagatenga, kainaryamy. It is mainly found in subtropical parts of the Himalayas from river Ravi eastwards at 900-2100m. it is found in India, from Punjab to Assam, including Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Nagaland. The Box myrtle is aromatic and grows up to 10 meters high, a medium to a large woody evergreen tree.

Morphology and Chemical Constituent of Bayberry

Chemical Constituent

The herb contains tannins, triterpenes, flavonoid glycosides, resin, and gum, the leaves of the tree are 7.5cm long and pale to rust-colored. The tree has hairy stalks with minute flowers growing on common drooping stalks, it has wrinkled seeds.


The leaves are pale green at the lower surface and dark green at the upper surface and are mostly crowded toward the ends of the branches.

Box myrtle leaves


The flowers are small, sessile, solitary, and bracteates; sepals and petals are either absent or not visible, flowering time is February to March. The oil from useful in earache, diarrhea, paralysis and inflammation.


The fruits of Box myrtle are a rich source of antioxidants, and it’s also known for their ravishing taste because of higher sugars, tannins, and vitamin C. The fruits of the plant are used to prepare jams, syrups, refreshing drinks, and pickles.

Box myrtle fruits


The bark of Box myrtle has astringent, stimulant, antiseptic, carminative, and antirheumatic properties, the bark has aromatic, stimulant, tonic, and resolvent. The outer bark is greyish dark in color while the inner bark is dark brown in color. The bark of the tree is mainly used in Ayurveda for its medicinal benefits.

Box myrtle bark

3. Ayurvedic properties of Box Myrtle (Kaiphal)

Kaiphal or Katphala, is a medicinal plant highly valued in Ayurveda for its various therapeutic properties. Different parts of the plant, including its fruits and seeds, are used for their medicinal benefits.

Ayurvedic properties of Box Myrtle (Kaiphal)

1. Rasa (Taste): Box Myrtle is believed to have a combination of astringent (Kashaya) and sweet (Madhura) tastes.

2. Virya (Potency): It is cooling in nature (Sheeta Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is sweet (Madhura Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Box Myrtle primarily balances Pitta dosha and, to a lesser extent, Kapha dosha. However, in excess, it may increase Vata dosha.

Ayurvedic Uses:

  1. Digestive Support: Box Myrtle is known for its beneficial effects on the digestive system. It is used to support healthy digestion, improve appetite, and manage digestive disorders like indigestion and acidity.

  2. Cardiovascular Health: Kaiphal is believed to have cardio-protective properties and can be used to support heart health and manage certain heart conditions.

  3. Anti-inflammatory: It possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to manage inflammatory conditions.

  4. Anti-parasitic: Box Myrtle has anti-parasitic properties and is used to manage certain parasitic infections.

  5. Immune Booster: It is considered an immunomodulator, helping to boost the immune system and support overall health.

  6. Oral Health: Kaiphal is used for oral health benefits and can help manage oral infections and improve gum health.

  7. Skin Health: It is used in certain Ayurvedic formulations to support skin health and manage skin conditions like itching and irritation

4. What are the benefits of Bayberry?

The bark is beneficial in arresting secretion or bleeding and expelling wind from the stomach. It is also an antiseptic. The plant has analgesic, anxiolytic, antiallergic, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antihypertensive, antiulcer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Here are some health benefits of Bayberry / Box myrtle

For Fever and Cold

It is a valuable remedy for fevers and colds, it helps to clear congested nasal passages which get relief by sneezing. The decoction gargle is also good for sore throat, a hot decoction can be taken in the treatment of fever, catarrh of the mucous membranes, affection of the chest, and typhoid.

For Intestinal Disorders

Box myrtle is also used to treat inflammation and infection of the gastrointestinal tract.

For Teeth Disorders

Box myrtle bark is beneficial in tooth problems like gums pain, toothache, and bad breath.

For Women’s Health Aliments

The herb taken internally can be used to treat postpartum hemorrhage. It can also be used as a douche for excessive menstrual bleeding and leucorrhea or white discharge.

For Respiratory Disorder

Box myrtle is highly beneficial in treating respiratory disorders like asthma and chronic bronchitis. Its bark may be taken either in a decoction or powdered form, as in the case of fevers and colds.

For Wounds and Ulcers

A compress of the herb can be sued for dressing wounds and ulcers.

For Other Diseases

Box myrtle is useful in several other disorders like diarrhea, dysentery, and chronic gonorrhea.

5. Traditional Formulations and Recipes

Here are some traditional formulations and recipes involving Box Myrtle.

Box Myrtle Decoction

  • Boil dried Box Myrtle leaves or fruits in water for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Strain the decoction and allow it to cool slightly.
  • This decoction can be consumed as a tonic or herbal tea to support digestion, relieve respiratory congestion, and promote overall health.

Box Myrtle Infusion


  • Steep-dried Box Myrtle leaves or fruits in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
  • Strain the infusion and add honey or lemon for flavor, if desired.
  • Box Myrtle infusion is believed to have refreshing and rejuvenating properties, making it an ideal beverage for promoting vitality and well-being.


Box Myrtle Syrup


  • Prepare a concentrated decoction of Box Myrtle by simmering the leaves or fruits in water until the liquid reduces in volume.
  • Add sugar or honey to the decoction and stir until dissolved to create a syrup.
  • Box Myrtle syrup can be taken orally as a sweet tonic or mixed with other herbal preparations for various health benefits.


Box Myrtle Paste


  • Grind fresh or dried Box Myrtle leaves or fruits into a fine paste using a mortar and pestle or a food processor.
  • Apply the paste topically to the affected area to alleviate skin irritation, inflammation, and itching associated with conditions like eczema, rashes, or insect bites.

Box Myrtle Oil Infusion



  • Infuse dried Box Myrtle leaves or fruits in a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil for several weeks.
  • Strain the infused oil and store it in a dark glass bottle.
  • Box Myrtle oil can be used for massage, aromatherapy, or as a natural remedy for skin and hair care.


Box Myrtle Herbal Blend

  • Mix dried Box Myrtle leaves or fruits with other herbs such as mint, ginger, or licorice root to create a customized herbal blend.
  • This herbal blend can be brewed as a tea, infused in oil or vinegar, or used to flavor culinary dishes for added health benefits and flavor.

6. How to use Myrica esculenta?

The whole plant, leaves, and fruits of the plant are extensively used in the traditional system of medicine for various ailments like cough, asthma, fever, chronic bronchitis, diarrhea rheumatism, and inflammation.

Dosage and uses depend upon the health problems and conditions or as an Ayurvedic doctor recommends. The general recommended dosage is 3-6 grams of Box myrtle daily once a day.

Here are some home remedies for Box myrtle / Kaiphal

  • Take 10 grams of Box myrtle bark powder and make a decoction of it, take twice a day after meal. Helps to treat colds and coughs.
  • Take 5 grams of Box myrtle bark powder with water, helps to treat intestinal disorders.
  • Take 5 grams of Box myrtle bark powder and make a paste with vinegar, use this on gums and teeth. It helps to give relief from teeth disorders.
  • Take 5-7 grams of Box myrtle bark powder with lukewarm water, helps to treat the respiratory disorder.
  • Make a decoction of Box myrtle bark powder with cinnamon, which helps to treat chronic cough and piles.

7. Side Effects of the Kaiphal

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’ have any side effects but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have special health issues.

Some side effects of Box myrtle / Kaiphal are mentioned below

  • Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take Box myrtle / Kaiphal without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
  • Do not take Box myrtle / Kaiphal bark without a doctor’s prescription if you are on any kind of hormonal or sexual-related medication.
  • If you are on any health supplements, advise the doctor before starting Box myrtle / Kaiphal.
  • If you are on diabetes or on hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming Box myrtle / Kaiphal.

8. Box myrtle Tea for Cough & Cold

This tea helps to treat cough and cold and gives relief from sore throat and helps to clear congested nasal passages. It is very simple and easy and can be made at home.


  • Box myrtle Bark Powder – 1 tsp
  • Terminalia Bellirica Powder – 1 tsp
  • Holy Basil – 1tsp
  • Licorice Root Powder – 1tsp
  • Water – 2 cups


    • Take a tea pan and add water, boil it.
    • Add all the ingredients and boil them for another 3-5 minutes.
    • Strain the tea in a cup with help of a tea filter.
    • Add honey and & lime or you can add black salt and pepper, whatever taste you like.
    • Drink hot.

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    9. Frequently Asked Question

    Q - What is the English name of kafal?

    Kafal English name is Box myrtle or bayberry, its botanical name is Myrica esculenta. it is used in Ayurveda for its various health benefits like cough, cold, intestinal worm, paralysis, joint pain and oral ulcer.

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