Barberries are used in a favorite rice dish of the Iranis and Parsis of India. It is Berry Pulao. (click for Recipe here)
The barberry shrub produces edible berries that are a rich source of vitamin C. Barberry contains a chemical known as berberine that gives it its medicinal value. This chemical acts as an antibiotic to kill fungi, bacteria, and protozoa. The fruit, root bark, and stem of barberry contain chemical like protoberberin alkaloids and isoquinoline that are effective in treating a number of ailments. Barberry is also a rich source of B vitamins like thiamine and minerals like zinc.
Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses
The medicinal and therapeutic value of barberry comes from the chemical berberine. This chemical not only inhibits the growth of bacteria and other disease causing organisms, it helps in boosting the body’s immune system as well. Some of the main health benefits of barberry are as under:
Barberry is effective in easing infection and inflammation of the urinary, respiratory, and gastrointestinal tracts. Common health problems like sinusitis, nasal congestion, sore throat, bronchitis, and candida infections are easily treatable with barberry. Skin conditions like psoriasis can also be treated with the help of barberry extracts.
Experts consider barberry an effective treatment for diarrhea, including diarrhea caused by food poisoning. Some studies have shown that the symptoms of diarrhea improve faster with barberry as compared to traditional antibiotics. Barberry contains powerful astringent properties that help in killing intestinal bacteria faster.
Barberry is also good for maintaining eye health because of its high concentration of berberine. It is also used to treat conjunctivitis.
The chemical berberine stimulates the white blood cells in the body that kill disease-causing organisms’ thereby boosting overall immunity.
The use of barberry as a liver tonic is also well known. It helps in detoxifying as well as stimulating the liver, which in turn increases the functioning of the liver and treats problems like gallstones.
Barberry is an effective natural treatment for problems like stomach upsets, heartburn, gastritis, ulcers, and ulcerative bowel problems. It also acts as an appetite stimulant. In problems like renal colic, barberry helps in easing the soreness and burning caused by this condition.
Barberry is useful in correcting irregularities in menstrual periods, anemia, as well as treating vaginitis. It can even help correct problems related to gout.
People suffering from ventricular heart defects can also benefit from barberry. This herb has the capacity to increase the blood supply in the body, which is very helpful to these patients.
It helps in lowering blood pressure by enlarging the blood vessels in hypertension patients.
Chemotherapy and radiation treatments in many cases result in white blood cell depression in the body, which is correctable with barberry.