AKA. Jaundice Berry, Pepperidge Bush
its history, this shrub is native to Europe, and naturalized in
Asia. The North Americans Indians used Barberry for treating the
liver. The Indians also found that to drink a prepared decoction
from the root bark could restore the body from general debility and
improve the appetite. Physicians found that Barberry relieves
jaundice and diseases of the liver and gall bladder because it
increases the secretion of bile. In Egypt, they mixed Barberry with
Fennel seed to prevent the plague. In ancient Ayurvedic medicine,
Barberry and Turmeric are combined to regulate liver energy in a way
that is very similar to the use of bupleurum in Chinese herbalism.
Barberry contains Berberine an alkaloid that dilates blood vessels,
thereby lowering blood pressure. A tea made from the bark is taken
during the spring months as a blood purifier. Berberine is a
strong antiseptic that is also found in Golden Seal. A strong
decoction is employed as an application to sore lips and to heal
sore throat when used as a gargle and mouthwash. The Berberine in
Barberry can also effect respiration where it can reduce bronchial
constriction and care for the mucous membranes.
Barberry has astringent properties
also works on the bowel to help
control diarrhea, and the herb
is said to be an effective purgative.
Webster declares it of value in jaundice when there is no
obstruction of the bile ducts, and in doses short of purgative
stimulates the duodenal functions relieving intestinal dyspepsia.
Small doses are also palliative in renal calculi, and in soreness,
burning, and other unpleasant sensations of the urinary tract.
Europe, temperate Asia, northern Africa, and North
America form Nova Scotia to Delaware and Pennsylvania, west to
Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri.
Anemia, Arthritis, Bladder Blood Cleanser, High Blood
Pressure, Blood Purifier, Boils, Breath Odor, Bright's Disease,
Constricted Bronchials, Cholera, Constipation (liver related),
Debility, Diarrhea, Digestive Disorders, Dysentery , Dyspepsia,
Fevers, Gallbladder, Gallstones, Gum Diseases, Heart, Heartburn,
Hemorrhaging, Indigestion, Infections, Itching, Jaundice, Kidneys,
Liver Conditions, Migraine Headaches, Mouth Ulcers, Pyorrhea,
rheumatism, Ringworm, Skin Disorders, Sore Throat, Spleen, Syphilis,
Little Herb Encyclopedia, by Jack Ritchason; N.D., Woodland Publishing Incorporated, 1995
Nutritional Herbology, by Mark Pedersen, Wendell W. Whitman Company, 1998
Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania 1987
The Ultimate Healing System, Course Manual, Copyright 1985, Don Lepore
Planetary Herbology, Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., Lotus Press, 1988
Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, by James A. Duke, Pub. CRP Second Edition 2007