Herbs | Berries | Fruits | Nuts | Oils | Tea | Vegetables


Barberry is a shrub with gray, thorny branches that can grow to about 9 feet tall. Bright yellow flowers bloom between the months of April and June and become dark; drooping bunches of red berries in the fall. The root, bark, and berries are used for medicinal purposes. The stem, root bark, and fruit of barberry contain alkaloids, the most prominent of which is berberine.


Berberine may also stimulate the immune system. It also acts on the smooth muscles that line the intestines. This last effect may help improve digestion and reduce gastrointestinal pain. Barberry is a detoxifying herb that contains excellent stimulating and sedative properties that help fight a number of disease causing organisms. This herb can be consumed orally as well as be used externally to treat a number of health problems. In foods, European barberry fruit is used in making jam, jellies, and wine.


Barberry is an effective natural treatment for problems like stomach upsets heartburn, gastritis, ulcers, and ulcerative bowel problems. It also acts as an appetite stimulant. In problems like renal colic, barberry helps in easing the soreness and burning caused by this condition. Experts consider barberry an effective treatment for diarrhoea, including diarrhoea caused by food poisoning. Some studies have shown that the symptoms of diarrhoea improve faster with barberry as compared to traditional antibiotics. Barberry contains powerful astringent properties that help in killing intestinal bacteria faster.


Barberry is thought to promote the secretion and flow of bile and be a mild laxative. Although it is sometimes promoted as an herbal remedy for gallstones, it shouldn’t be used for this condition unless under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. European herbalists have also used it to treat liver and gallbladder ailments. It has been used for inflammation, high blood pressure and abnormal uterine bleeding. Barberry has been used to treat colorectal cancer, liver cancer, strep throat, and toxic shock syndrome. Barberry is said to be extremely effective for fighting bacterial infection and has been effective against some bacteria that have become antibiotic-resistant.


Use in consultation with a medical practitioner. If taken in excess, barberry may cause nausea, vomiting, convulsions, low blood pressure, abnormally low heartbeat and breathing.



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