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Learning about local plants and their historic medicinal applications is vital to anyone aiming to become a true healer. This is why I decided to write a page on the American Beauty Berry ( Callicarpa americana ). It grows wild in northwest Florida, and other regions of the south eastern United States. The berries change from a red to a purple color. This plant has a history of use by various Native tribes. The plant produces medicinal phytochemicals which attribute to its beneficial properties. A constituent known as callicarpenal has properties which make it an effective mosquito repellent, according to a laboratory experiment. Birds love the fruit.
Roots, leaves and branches of the American Beautyberry were all used in medicinal preparations by herbalists. Various tribes including those in Alabama, the Choctaw, Creek, Koasati, Seminole, and others utilized this plant for its believed beneficial properties. For dealing with malarial fevers and rheumatism, the roots, leaves and branches were all made into a decoction. This means they were boiled. Often times the boiled material was left near the patient inside a sweat-house. Root decoctions were also used to for dizziness and stomachaches. An infusion of the beautyberry and Rubus spp. plant were used for dysentery. Roots and berries were boiled and consumed for colic. Bark was utilized topically on itchy skin. The information in this section is paraphrased and has been provided by the USDA.
Very rarely do you hear about the human microbiome project. The human microbiome is a naturally occurring environment of beneficial and necessary bacteria that live on and inside your body. Roots thrive in a bacteria rich environment. Therefore, it's my belief that any decoction made from roots may be beneficial to the human microbiome. The American Beautyberry is one of many plants that has roots of ethnobotanical importance.
Identifying the American Beauty Berry ( Callicarpa americana ) can be tricky. It's important not to guess. You can contact a local academic information center with photos to make sure that what you have found is exactly what you're looking for. Make sure the images are clear, high resolution, and contain all parts of the plants. This is vital in making absolutely sure you've found what you're looking for. Utilizing wild medicinal plants can save you tons of money. You can also take cuttings, and reproduce the plants that way. This leaves you with an endless and free supply.
Items and statements not evaluated nor approved by the FDA.
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