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What are the Medical Uses of Beautyberry?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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Many people are surprised to learn that beautyberry is useful in dealing with several health issues. More commonly, this plant is considered to be ideal for inclusion in decorative gardens, given the beauty of the pinkish-white flowers that are produced. The shrub is also known as an effective insect repellent. Along with these common uses, beautyberry can also be utilized as a helpful tool to treat various types of muscle stiffness, fevers, and even in dealing with some gastrointestinal ailments.

When used as a folk remedy, there are several parts of the beautyberry tree or shrub that may be utilized. The root, leaves, fruit and even the bark or wood are employed in making various types of teas, poultices and topical ointments that may be used to treat rashes or calm some type of internal disorder. Typically, the parts of the plant are used when they are still fresh, although it is possible to purchase dried versions of this type of natural remedy.

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Beautyberry leaves are sometimes used to create a powerful tincture that can be stored in a cool dry place and used for several different types of ailments. For people who experience stiff joints after exercise, using the tincture as a muscle rub will sometimes ease the distress. When the muscle pain is ongoing, such as with different forms of rheumatism, the tincture may be taken in a tea or water, or even administered in small doses by the spoonful. Anecdotal evidence indicates that the muscle pain begins to subside within a couple of hours, making it possible to engage in normal activities with relatively little discomfort in the muscles and joints.

Another internal use of beautyberry has to do with calming issues with the gastrointestinal tract. Specifically, the tincture can be taken to calm bouts of diarrhea while also easing the contractions that often accompany the condition. This can be especially important since diarrhea often causes essential nutrients to pass through the body without being absorbed. By controlling the diarrhea, the body has more opportunity to absorb those nutrients, strengthen the body’s natural defenses, and begin to overcome whatever triggered the initial discomfort.

Boiling the root of the beautyberry shrub can also provide relief for a couple of health problems. Making a poultice that contains the root is said to bring down fever in a short period of time. Juice extracted from the root is also thought to be effective in easing the pain associated with indigestion and heartburn. Some herbalists report that the juice from the root helps the stomach to regain a proper balance of acid, which in turn minimizes the incidence of acid reflux and the pain associated with that condition.

Even the bark or wood of beautyberry may be used for a couple of topical purposes. The inner bark can be soaked and applied directly to rashes or skin wounds, providing a soothing sensation while also promoting healing. The bark can also be pulverized and used in a poultice to help protect the open wound from becoming infected. There are also some claims that making an ointment using the crushed bark and the fruit from the flowers will aid in promoting rapid healing of bruises.

As with many alternative remedies, the use of beautyberry for various health issues is supported mainly by testimonials from people who have used the shrub and found it effective in treating specific ailments. Before using any product containing one or more parts of this plant, talk with your doctor about possible interactions with any medication you are currently taking. This will prevent situations where the compounds of the plant negatively interact with those medications and create unnecessary discomfort.

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