Barberry is known as common barberry, European barberry, or simply barberry.


The shrub is native to Central and Southern Europe, Northwest Africa, and western Asia. It is also found in northern Europe, including the British Isles and Scandinavia, and North America. It grows in Light deciduous woodland, hedges, roadsides, clearings, etc., preferring a sunny position and chalky soil, and growing up to 4 meters high.


Part used

All parts of the plant can be used; the yellow root bark is the most concentrated source of active ingredients.


Traditional Uses and benefits

The plant is mainly used as a tonic to the gallbladder to boost bile flow and alleviate conditions such as gallbladder pain, gallstones, and jaundice.

The bark and root bark are antiseptic, astringent, hepatic, purgative, refrigerant, stomachic, and tonic. It is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery.

The flowers and stem bark have antirheumatic properties. The root bark is a rich source of the alkaloid.  The roots have astringent and antiseptic properties and are used as a purgative and treatment for diarrhea.  A tincture of the root bark has been used in the treatment of rheumatism and sciatica.

Berberine has antitumor activity. And also effective in the treatment of hypersensitive eyes, inflamed lids, and conjunctivitis.  

Barberry is also useful in treating mouth ulcers and stomach ulcers.

The fruit or freshly pressed juice helps to cure liver and gall bladder problems, kidney stones, and menstrual pains.

A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of coughs. Homeopaths use the plant as a valuable remedy for kidney and liver insufficiency.

Dosage and Precautions

Barberry can be used as a tisane, dried herb, tablet, tincture, or capsule.

Add whole or crushed berries in 2 cups of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Instead of berries, you can use 2 to 4 grams of dried root.

You can use it as a tincture; add 250 to 500 milligrams of dry extract three times daily.

You can apply 10% barberry extract to the skin three times a day.



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