Health benefits of Chinese bayberry
HEALTH BENEFITS OF MYRICA RUBRA
Chinese Bayberry (Myrica Rubra) is a subtropical evergreen tree originating in China , where it has been cultivated and consumed for more than 7,000 years, becoming part of Chinese traditional medicine as part of herbal remedies for some ailments and illnesses. Image: See credits under ref.  below.
Common name: Chinese Bayberry, Japanese Bayberry, Red Bayberry, Yumberry, Waxberry, or Chinese strawberry tree 
WHERE CAN WE FIND CHINESE BAYBERRY?
It is primarily cultivated in southern China for several thousand years , in high altitude lands and mountains, having a total annual production of over 1.1 million tons.
The best-known cultivars are Biqi and Dongkui, both from the Zhejiang province . There are four species within the genus Myrica in China, namely Myrica Rubra, esculenta, nana, and adenophora.
Due to its delicious taste and a number of health benefits exerted by Chinese bayberry, the areas in which it is cultivated has considerably extended in the last year, becoming considerably bigger in China and being introduced also in Australia .
CHINESE BAYBERRY PROPERTIES
The Chinese bayberry has indeed many health benefits and properties. It is well known as a rich source of tannins . The leaves, bark and fruits of the Chinese bayberry tree have been used as an astringent, antidote, and anti-diarrhoeic in traditional Chinese medicine [1,3,4]. The Chinese bayberry leaves are also and more specifically used as analgesics in folk medicine in China .
In several pharmacological studies of this natural medicine, it has been reported that the extract of Chinese bayberry bark exerts hepatoprotection [5,6], inhibits melanin biosynthesis activities  and could prevent carcinogenesis , in spite the hepatoprotective effects of Myrica Rubra fruits are not well investigated .
The proanthocyanidin gallate found in Chinese bayberry has been reported to exhibit antioxidant and antiviral activity . Image: Selling Yumberries by Carsten Ullrich under Creative Commons License (CC BY-SA 2.0).
DIFFERENT TYPES OF CHINESE BAYBERRIES
Among the different types of Chinese bayberries we can mention:
- Black bayberry (Biji / Hunan)
- Pink bayberry (Fenhong)
- Yellow bayberry (Shuijing)
ANTI-ALLERGIC EFFECT OF CHINESE BAYBERRY LEAF EXTRACTS
Flavonoids is polyphenol antioxidants that can be found in plants, herbs, and food. They function as powerful antioxidants having a very important role in our metabolism and believed to have certain anti-cancer properties.
Flavonoids are ingested by the general population as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. One of these flavonoids found in Chinese bayberry leaf, namely myricitrin, inhibited pro-inflammatory TNFα production, showing that myricitrin may be of potential interest in the management of inflammatory conditions .
ANALGESIC EFFECTS OF CHINESE BAYBERRY LEAVES
As we mentioned before, the Chinese bayberry leaves are also and more specifically used as analgesics in folk medicine in China. Some studies have demonstrated that the analgesic effect of bayberry leaves is exerted by an active constituent found in its leaves, namely myricetin, a chemical that showed a significant inhibition in chemical nociceptive models, to be clear, the stimuli that are transmitted by our neurons when they react to a potential damage coming .
ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES OF CHINESE BAYBERRY VARIETIES
Some of the active constituents found in Chinese bayberry have proven free radical scavenging properties, the so-called antioxidant activity. Among these active constituents, Chinese bayberry is known to contain at least:
- one anthocyanin,
- three major flavonols
- cyanidin-3-O-glucoside and
- two of three flavonols, myricetin and quercetin-3-O-rutinoside.
The black varieties (Biji and Hunan) demonstrated much higher radical scavenging activities than the pink (Fenhong) and yellow (Shuijing) varieties which may be attributed to much higher levels of anthocyanins, flavonoids, and total phenolics in the black varieties .
CHINESE BAYBERRY FOR BREAST CANCER
In human breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells, a chemical extracted from the bark showed anti-proliferative activity, causing the apoptosis of these cancer cells or natural cell death .
Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to prescribe or give in any way or form medical advice, recommend or diagnose. Please read the disclaimer at the bottom of this page for more info.