The bayberry fruit, which is also known as yumberry in some places, has been around for at least 2000 years in China, Japan, and in other areas in Southeast Asia. The shrub now grows in Texas and in many parts of Eastern US. The fruit is similar to other berries, measuring about one and a half centimeters in diameter. It is recognizable with its knobby surface that has a deep red color. However, there are some varieties that appear purple and white. The pulp usually has the same color as the skin and tastes tart and sweet.Enjoying bayberries as raw fruits, canned, juiced, or pickled may provide you several benefits.
Healthy Components Found in Bayberries
Bayberries are acidic, but rich in sugars. The good news is that this fruit is able to strike a balance with its sugar content and acidity. Each piece is a good source of riboflavin, thiamine, and carotene. This also has dietary fiber and vitamin C, which is very abundant in the fruit.
Anthocyanin, which is an antioxidant that gives the fruit its color, is also found in this fruit. Bayberries also have various types of antioxidants, including flavonols, phenolic compounds, and ellagitannins. It is without a doubt that bayberries are rich in antioxidants. In fact, it is unusually wealthy in oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), which are considered the most powerful when it comes to fighting free radicals. OPCs are very useful as they support each and every part of the metabolic system by means of protecting the system against stresses originating internally and from the environment.
Monosaccharides that include arabinose, mannose, galactose, and glucose are also present in bayberries. Calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, potassium, and other metal ions are also in the fruit. With these healthy components, it is no wonder that the fruit is used in many medicinal practices.
Medical Uses of Bayberries
In Ancient Chinese herbal medicine, the stem of the fruit is used as an astringent to heal various conditions, including ulcers, wounds and other skin diseases, and even arsenic poisoning. The seed is also useful as it is treatment for sweaty feet. Meanwhile, eating the fruit itself is said to be beneficial in removing cholera, stomach diseases, and even heart disease.
Since bayberries are rich in OPCs, the fruit can help clean the body to get rid of free radicals and cancer-causing cells. Additionally, it is said that bayberries through their OPCs can enter the barrier between the blood and the brain and is therefore useful in protecting both the nervous system and the brain.