Barberry, scientifically called Berberis Vulgaris is also known with other names like barberry herb, berberry, mountain grape, berberis, jaundice berry, common grape, pepperidge and sowberry.
It is a beautiful evergreen thorny shrub with vibrant red colors, especially in autumn and summer. Although it is a medicinal herb, it is of no wonder that it is grown as a decorative plant in gardens and homes. It is native to tropical Asia, temperate zones of Europe, North America and South America. It has been used to treat health problems for more than 2500 years.
Health Benefits of Barberry
Today there is a growing awareness of the effectiveness of natural remedies. Many people have started to realize that herbal remedies are cheap, safe and effective. Barberry is one of the wonderful medicinal herbs with plenty of health benefits. To know these, read further.
Infections: Barberry contains barberine that helps in stifling the growth of bacteria. Its antibacterial properties are useful in treating urinary tract infections and respiratory infections. The respiratory infections that barberry can contribute to include treatments for sore throat, pyorrhearhinitis, sinusitis remedies, remedies for bronchitis and treatments for pharyngitis.
Liver diseases: Barberry has been successfully used in treating liver disorders like jaundice, biliary disorders and biliuosness.
Diarrhea: Researchers conclude that barberry is more effective in treating diarrhea than antibiotics. Traveler’s diarrhea and diarrhea resulting from food poisoning can be cured by barberry.
Gastrointestinal diseases: This herb is useful in treating diarrhea and also helps with many gastrointestinal diseases; it can be used in home remedies for heartburn, stomach upset, loss of appetite, constipation and indigestion etc.
Arthritis: Barberry contains an alkaline called berbmaine. This is helpful in reducing inflammation. That is the reason why barberry is effective in treating inflammation caused due to rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be used in gout remedies.
Burns: Barberry helps in reducing the incidence of infection caused from first and second degree burns. It is applied topically and is a great home remedy for burns.
Skin: Berries of barberry are rich in vitamin C. It helps skin to remain healthy, soft and glowing.
Hypertension: Barberine present in barberry dilates the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
Cardiovascular diseases: Hypertension is one of the important factors that increase the risks of cardiac arrests and stroke. Barberry treats hypertension and reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Epilepsy: It is a brain disorder caused due to abnormal behavior of neurons. It is characterized by convulsions, loss of consciousness and strange behavior. A study conducted in the year 2005 proved that barberry opened potassium channels and stopped seizures and convulsions.
Yeast infections: Yeast infection is caused by Candida Albicans. Barberry is useful in killing this fungus.
Immunity: The alkaloids present in barberries are useful in improving the immunity of the body. Barberries stimulate macrophages that are needed for boosting immunity.
Kidney stones: The herb is widely used in home remedies for kidney stones.
Antioxidant: Its antioxidant properties have age-defying benefits. It reduces the risks of age related diseases.
Pregnant and lactating women should avoid barberry. When applied topically some patients have suffered from allergic reactions like itching, burning and redness. Some people have developed hypersensitive reactions like vomiting, lethargy and nephritis, but this is very rare. It should not be taken with medications like blood thinners. It may prevent the sperms from maturing and must be avoided by men who are planning to start a family.
How is it Used?
Barberry is used orally and topically. The oral dosage is in the form of tea, tincture, drugs, capsules and dried extracts. Tea is prepared from the extracts of barberry roots. Barberry roots are used to make topical ointment. It is used to treat sores and burns. It can be applied thrice a day.
- The ripe berries of barberry are made into jelly.
- The decoction of bark can be used for gargling.
- The fresh juice of the fruit can be extracted and used in treating pyorrhea.
Barberry is an amazing herb with plenty of medical benefits, but it should not be taken without consulting your health care provider and the recommended dosage should not be exceeded.