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.
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.
Leaves - 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.
Flowers – 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.
Fruits - 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.
Bark – 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.
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.
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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.
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 recommended by an Ayurvedic doctor. 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.
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.
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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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.