barberry

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Related to common barberry: European barberry, Japanese barberry

barberry

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.
 
Toxicity
It should not be used in pregnancy as berberine stimulates uterine contractions.

bar·ber·ry

(bahr'ber-ē)
(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.