Health Benefits of Barberry
Barberry has various other names such as common barberry and European barberry. The botanical name of barberry is berberis Vulgaris belonging to Berberidaceae family and Plantae kingdom. The type of the herb is shrub that eventually falls on maturity which grows to a height of 4 metre. The leaves of barberry are comparatively small which ranges from 2 to 5 cm long and 1 to 2 cm broad. They are of the nature of being in clusters of 2 to 5 together supported by a spine. The leaves carry a dull green colour. The herb gives out flowers which are bright yellow in colour but their aroma is unpleasant. The fruits contain seeds and are ellipsoid shaped and red in colour, with a length of 1 cm. The fruits have a sour taste though they are edible.
Primary Use of the Herb
Barberry is mainly used for culinary purposes. It is predominantly used in the preparation of jams, jellies and juices. It is also being used in the form of hedges in the parts of New Zealand. Barberry has certain antioxidants which are used for curing skin infections to an extent.
Chemical and Nutrients in Barberry
- Organic acids
- Vitamin C
- Poliphenolic components
Health Benefits of barberry:
Natural antihistamine and anti-allergy potential
Berberis Vulgaris and its extracts have the capability to cut down the allergy that is caused due to various reasons. Antihistamine is the process of fighting against the histamine, which is released from the allergy and helps in distracting the histamine from reacting with the tissues.
Supports cardiovascular and neural system
Barberry acts as an effective medicine against various cardiovascular issues such as hypertension and tachycardia. It also acts as a curing medicine for certain neural disorders namely epilepsy and convulsion.
Used as folk medicine
Bulgaria effectively uses barberry and its extracts as a folk medicine in that region. Folk medicine means the traditional medicine that has been brought forward from the ancient times and is used only in that region. The herb is used for curing diseases like rheumatic and other chronic inflammatory disorders.
Antioxidant in nature
The element composition of the herb restricts the growth of bacteria by acting as an antioxidant. The extract of barberry helps in developing the skin condition also.
The fruits of the herb are edible and are rich in vitamin C. they are eaten as raw fruits for their sour and refreshing flavour. These fruits are essential in making of jam and are also used in making jellies and juices. The use of this herb is constrained to the sour taste its bark and root gives.
Other medical usage of barberry
The herb is being used to cure acne; the decoction of the plant is utilized for the treatment of aliments and cough. The alkaloid berberine was used as an astringent in eye drops. It is also used in the treatment of cancer, cholera, indigestion, dermatosis, diarrhea and fever.
How to Use:
- The fruits and leaves of the herb are crushed and decoction is extracted which is used as antiseptic.
- The fruits are dried and eaten as a whole for refreshment.
Barberry has been tested and rated as one of the safe herbs to be used for their herbal benefits but there is a possibility of hypersensitivity reactions such as burning, itching, redness etc, due to improper dosage.