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Herbal medicine
A deciduous shrub, the bark and fruit of which contain alkaloids (berberine, columbamine, oxyacanthine, palmatine and others), resin, starch and tannins; it is antibacterial, anticonvulsant, antiviral and vasodilatory; it has been used internally for anaemia, cholera, constipation, diarrhoea, gallstones, hangover, heartburn, hepatitis, hypertension, menstrual pains and splenomegaly, and topically for conjunctivitis, skin infections and sore throats.
It should not be used in pregnancy as berberine stimulates uterine contractions.


(Mahonia vulgaris, Berberis aquifolium) Available in many forms (e.g., extract, infusion); purported uses include as an antidiarrheal, antipyretic, and as a cough suppressant. Potential toxicity in pregnancy.
Synonym(s): jaundice berry, Oregon grape, sowberry, wood sour.

barberry (bärˑ·ber·ē),

n Latin name:
Berberis aquifolium Pursh; part used: root bark, fruit; uses: antimicrobial, antiinflammatory, antiplatelet, decreases ventricular tachyarrhythmias, topical skin treatment; precautions: causes spontaneous abortion, avoid during pregnancy, cardiac damage, nephritis. Also called
berberry, jaundice berry, pepperridge bush, pipperidge, sour-spine, sowberry, trailing mahonia, or
wood sour.
barberry, Indian,
n Latin name:
Berberis aristata; parts used: roots, stem, fruits; uses: in Ayurveda balances kapha and vata doshas (bitter, astringent, light, rough), hepatoprotective, antiinflammatory, antibacterial, tonic, cholagogue, stomachic, fever, diarrhea, hepatitis, splenitis, jaundice, eye infections; precautions: none known. Also called
daruhaldi or
daru haridra.
Enlarge picture
Barberry, Indian.


References in periodicals archive ?
Invasion of deciduous forest preserves in the New York metropolitan region by Japanese berberry (Berberis thunbepgii DC.
From Buffalo, NY-based Herbion come Entoban capsules and syrup, featuring the following herbal lineup: myrtleberry (Myrtus communis), bael fruit (Aegele marelos), lotur (Symplocos racemosa), oak galls (Quercus infectoria), East Indian screw tree (Heicteres isora), kurchi (Holarrhena antidysenterica), berberry (Berberis aristata), and acacia (Acacia Arabica).
A case in study to reiterate this view is the observation on the combined action of berberine and 5'-methoxyhydnocarpin, both of which are produced by berberry plants.
Birmingham Committee Jubilee Debt Campaign Berberry Close Bournville