Barberry is a medicinal shrub that is commonly found in the middle east; however, its uses can be found throughout the world. Recorded history dates the use of barberry back 2,500 years where it was used in India as medicine to treat digestion ailments as well as to help reduce high fevers.
Barberry is similar in compounds as goldenseal as they both contain berberine as their main active compound. This chemical has been found to slow, or completely stop, the growth of bacteria in laboratory studies. Another study has shown that barberry can help improve the performance and quality of the cardiovascular system as well as the central nervous system. Because of this, barberry can be used to help reduce hypertension as well as regulate rapid heart beat and treat convulsions and other neuronal ailments.
One of the most common uses for barberry include treating skin ailments. Due to the active compounds within this herb, it has been used to treat psoriasis; however, the University of Maryland states barberry must undergo additional studies to determine its overall effectiveness for treating this skin condition.
Perhaps one of the most effective medical ailments barberry can be used to treat is diarrhea in any form. Due to the astringent properties found within barberry, it can be more effective than traditional over-the-counter medications as it is an effective way to kill bacteria within the intestines that cause diarrhea. The University of Maryland states to use barberry to treat diarrhea it should be combined with an antibiotic routine prescribed by your doctor.
To consume barberry, make a tea. Boil 2/3 cup of water and add two teaspoons of barberry berries or four grams of dried barberry root. Allow the tea to steep for 15 minutes and consume up to three times per day for relief. If you desire to use barberry to treat skin conditions, purchase a cream that is comprised of 10 percent barberry extract (12 percent berberine). Apply directly to the skin up to three times per day. Take note, if you are currently undergoing medical treatment, discuss the use of barberry with your doctor.