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  • 6/12/2013

Barberry - A Beautiful Shrub with Plenty of Health Benefits


Barberry is a hard, thorny, semi-deciduous shrub. It belongs to a family of approximately 450-500 species of evergreen and deciduous shrubs that have thorny stems and grow anywhere between 1 and 5 meters. Barberries are closely associated to genus Mahonia which is actually a family of small evergreen trees and shrubs native to Asia, North America and Central America.

Barberry shrubs grow about 2 to 4 meters in height though there is a dwarf variety that is much shorter in height. In spring season they bear fragrant, bright yellow flowers which hang from the shoot like tear drops. Barberry leaves are small in size, oval in shape and have a fine texture.

Barberry has very attractive, multi-colored foliage that can be gold, bright green or burgundy.

Barberries are also referred to as Pepperidge Bushes or Berberis.

Barberries are found in subtropical and temperate areas of Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa.

The scientific name of Barberry tree is Berberis Vulgaris.

Nutrition & Health Benefits of Eating Barberry

· The berries of barberry are rich in vitamin C, which is required by the body for a healthy and glowing skin. Apart from that, it also helps remove toxic substances from the body and maintain strong bones and teeth.

· It is a wonder herb that helps cure bacterial infection, which can be attributed to the chemical ‘berberine’ present in it. This chemical stimulates certain immune system cells to function better and prevents the bacteria from sticking to human cells, resulting in prevention of the infection.

· The alkaloid berbamine present in barberry helps in the treatment of amebic hepatitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

· The herb helps destroy bacteria on the skin and is also applied topically on burns.

· It effectively works against the bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics, with time.

· Barberry has anti-parasitic and fever-reducing properties, which have made it a winner amongst many herbalists.

· The herb is an immune system stimulant that aids in digestion and treats gastrointestinal pain.

· It helps decrease the heart rate, reduces bronchial constriction, and slows down breathing.

· The anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties of barberry have been used to cure the infection of urinary tract, upper respiratory tract and even the bladder. It is used to treat abnormal uterine bleeding as well.

· Barberry is an inspiring hepatic tonic that controls the mucosa, removes mucoid accumulations, controls excess secretion and improves appetite and assimilation in the body.

· The herb is beneficial in cardiovascular and neural systems and is used to heal epilepsy and convulsions. Besides, it is also used as an alternative treatment for curing tachycardia and hypertension.

· Barberry dilates the blood vessels and thus, aids in lowering the blood pressure.


· Barberry should strictly be avoided by pregnant and nursing women, as it is a uterine stimulant.

· The herb can possibly interact with other medications; hence, it is advisable not to take it without seeking permission from a doctor.

· Excessive usage of barberry should be avoided, as it can lead to stomachache, lethargy, nosebleeds, diarrhea and vomiting, along with kidney problems.

· It should be avoided in hyperthyroid conditions and in cases of excessive flatulence.




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Okra the Super Food

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