Barberry (Berberis Vulgaris) is a shrub with yellow flowers, serrated leaves and small red fruits. It is decorative as well as useful in the medicinal field. In fact, barberry tea benefits have been known in traditional Asian medicines for more than 2500 years. To prepare a cup of tea, boil ½ pulverized barberry bark into 1 cup of water for about 5 minutes, let it cool down and strain the mixture. Limit your barberry tea intake to 1 cup before lunch and dinner – do not exceed two cups per day.
Proprieties of Barberry
Barberry consists of several active substances. The bark contains alkaloids (berbamine, berberine, oxyacantha) and tannins. These substances bring about the medical effects: vasodilator, haemostatic, diuretic, hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiparasitic. Berberine, one of the potent agents, helps manage different illnesses such as stimulating digestion, reducing gastrointestinal pains and toughening up the immune system.
Barberry’s bark has mild antiseptic properties, and when applied externally it can be used to clean up the anal area that is affected with hemorrhoids. It does not heal the condition, but protects and sterilizes the area, where microorganisms can enter, against further infection that might worsen the already inflamed veins. When taken internally, it makes for an effective laxative, allowing the digestive system to generate soft stools, which can alleviate pain for those suffering from hemorrhoids.
As mentioned above, barberry tea can help soften the stool and relieve the pain for people with hemorrhoids. Aside from that, it is also effective at remedying intestinal infections like bacterial dysentery as it prevents microbes from hanging on to human cells. Barberry is known to treat intestinal parasitic infections and bacterial diarrhea. It is also used as a medication for yeast infection (candidiasis) and may thwart symptoms of indigestion like nausea and heartburn.
Aside from helping with digestive problems, the berberine substance found in the barberry plant can help other microbial infections such as abrasions, scrapes and cuts. It is also helpful in infections from 1st and 2nd degree burns and those affecting the nails, eyes, bladder, reproductive tract, sinuses, and throat. It kills Pseudomonas, Shigella, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Salmonella and Vibrio bacteria. The tea can be ingested or used to wash infected areas.
Kidney, Gallbladder and Liver
Barberry tea can improve the flow of bile in the gallbladder, thus stimulating the blood flow going to the liver. Better flow means better distribution of nutrients, which means better liver function. It also helps in managing gallstones and kidney stones by rapid distribution of calcium oxalate therefore breaking up the stones.
Barberry tea benefits have treated several illnesses over the thousands of years, but there are limitations to this miracle plant. Pregnant women should not take barberry as it contains contraction-producing enzymes, which may cause miscarriage. Ridiculously high concentrations of berberine may result in kidney irritation, bleeding, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. An allergic reaction will be indicated by hives, difficulty in breathing and swelling of the lips, tongue, throat and facial areas. If any of these symptoms should occur, please contact a doctor immediately.
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- The Herbal Resource - https://herbal-supplement-resource.com/barberry-herb.html
- The Herb Companion - https://www.herbcompanion.com/Herb-Profiles/Barberry-A-Shrub-with-Medicine-in-Its-Makeup.aspx
- University of Maryland Medical Center - https://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/barberry-000224.htm
- Herbal Facts - https://herbal-facts.com/herb_index/barberry/barberry.htm