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Barberry Therapeutic Uses and Precautions

Barberry, an herb used for centuries for natural cures and home remedies, is an extremely effective, potent herb useful in lowering blood pressure, detoxifying the liver, boosting the immune system, fighting digestive disorders and more.

barberry Barberry Therapeutic Uses and Precautions

Scientific Name

Berberis Vulgaris.

Common names include:

  • Berberry
  • Barberry
  • Common grape
  • Mountain grape
  • Pepperidge
  • Common barberry
  • Jaundice berry
  • Berberis


The Barberry herb is a member of the Berberidaceae family. It has grayish yellow stems with yellow roots. Each stem features a spine with 3 prongs and leaves with serrated edges. It produces yellow flowers that eventually blossom into red fruits.

Barberry has a very bitter taste, and is both a sedative, as well as a detoxifying herb. Used as a liver stimulant and as a digestive aid, barberry is a very effective force against a variety of disease-causing organisms.

Typical Preparations

The leaves of the Barberry plant are often dried and served as a tea. However, it can also be used as a seasoning in cooked rice or stuffing. The fruit of the Barberry is often made into a jelly and candies made from its extract are popular in some countries.

For medicinal use, Barberry is commonly offered in a tincture, tea, dried leaves, tablet or capsule form.

Common Uses

Barberry is extremely rich in Vitamin C. When taken internally, it is useful in fighting various diseases and infections. Commonly, it is used for healing wound infections, dysentery, urinary tract infections, diarrhea (especially as a result of bacterial infections), giardiasis, heartburn, a variety of digestive disorders and vaginal yeast infections.

Because it has a high alkaloid ratio, Barberry is helpful in combating parasitic, fungal and viral infections. It also assists in fighting infections by naturally stimulating the body’s white blood cells.

Barberry is also commonly used for the treatment of gallstones, as a detoxifying tonic for the liver and to help restore that organ’s natural circulation. It is a very aggressive herb useful in strengthening the body’s natural immune system.

Another of Barberry’s medicinal uses is in the treatment of nausea associated with chemotherapy and it is also helpful in lowering dangerously high blood pressure.

When used externally, Barberry is commonly used as an ointment to treat psoriasis and to treat conjunctivitis.


Individuals using the barberry herb should do so under the supervision of a professional. Barberry may counteract certain blood thinners and anyone using such medications should discuss all possible side effects with their doctor first. It is also known to cause nausea, induce vomiting and lower blood pressure in some patients and it may also cause convulsions, a dangerously low heart rate and/or depress breathing.

Women who are pregnant, who are trying to get pregnant or who are nursing should not take barberry. Also, men who are trying to father a child should also avoid barberry, as it may retard the maturation rate of sperm cells, which can cause sterility.

Natural cures and home remedies involving herbal treatments have been effectively used throughout history even before the advent of modern medicine. Barberry is one such herb that has many effective internal and external uses. However, because of its potency and its aggressive action inside of the body, the precautions detailed above should be strictly adhered to.