– PLANT DESCRIPTION:
Berberis vulgaris, also called regular barberry, European barberry or simply barberry, is a shrub in the genus Berberis. It produces edible yet strongly acidic berries, which people in numerous nations eat as a tart and refreshing fruit.
It is a deciduous shrub growing up to 4 meters (13 ft) high. The leaves are little oval, (2–5 cm) long and (1–2 cm) wide, with a serrated edge; they are borne in bunches of 2-5 together, subtended by a three-stretched spine 3–8 mm long.
The blooms are yellow, (4–6 mm) over, produced on (3–6 cm) long panicles in late spring. The fruit is an oval red berry (7–10 mm) long and (3–5 mm) wide, maturing in late summer or autumn; they are edible but very harsh, and rich in Vitamin C. (1)
Prefers a warm wet loamy soil, prevailing in thin, dry and shallow soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prevails in full sun or light shade but requires a wet soil when developed in the shade of trees. Hardy to about – 35°c.
An very ornamental plant, the barberry was at one time developed for its consumable natural product, there are a few named assortments. “Dulcis” the fruit of which is sweet or somewhat sour. Hybridizes openly with different individuals from this variety, however it typically breeds genuinely true to type. Can be pruned back quite severely, it resprouts well from the base. (2)
Types of Barberry:
There are over 500 kinds of Barberry bushes. The two most common forms of barberry bushes in the US are the Common Barberry and the Japanese Barberry. (3)
– CHEMICAL COMPOSITION:
Studies done on the chemical composition of the plant demonstrate that the most important constituents of this plant are isoquinoline alkaloids, such as berberine, berbamine and palmatine. Berberine represents one of the most studied among the naturally occurring protoberberine alkaloids. In addition to B. vulgaris (barberry). (4)
– BARBERRY USES & BENEFITS:
- Berberine is the most unmistakable of these alkaloids and according to laboratory researchs, it has an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, sedative, and anticonvulsant impact.
- Berberine is an immune system stimulant and assists with absorption and gastrointestinal pain. It is found in the stem bark and rhizome of the plant.
- Berbamine is another alkaloid found in the herb and it fights infections by stimulating the activity of white platelets.
- This herb has been used for over 2500 years in Asia and the Mediterranean. In Egypt barberry was utilized as a precaution against plague. The Ayurveda healers of India utilized it as a solution for dysentery.
- Barberry has traditionally been used as a treatment for digestive disorders, skin irritations and sores. It has anti inflammatory and antibiotic properties and has been utilized as a part of the treatment of urinary tract and bladder contaminations, upper respiratory diseases and strange uterine bleeding.
- It might be helpful to the cardiovascular and neural systems and might be used as a treatment for epilepsy and convulsions. It has additionally been used as an option treatment for tachycardia and hypertension.
- It is usually used to treat bacterial diarrhea and parasitic infections of the digestive organs. (5)
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