Magickal properties of Bayberry

Bayberry is a shrub in the Myrtle family, also known as Wax Myrtle. It is native to North America and was harvested by Choctaws, Mohegans, and also by white settlers as early as the 1600s. Every part of the Bayberry plant serves some medicinal, magickal, or household purpose. Wax extracted from the berries was used to make soap and candles in place of animal tallow. The leaves are aromatic (similar to the unrelated kitchen herb Bay), and the roots can be harvested and dried for use as a natural antibiotic. It is also unrelated to Chinese Bayberry, an Asian species that bears red, lychee-like fruit.

As a New World herb, Bayberry doesn’t appear in magick spells based on medieval grimoires or traditional British Witchcraft. Rather, the plant’s benefits are expressed in American folk magick and Hoodoo.

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