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The Benefits of Barberry Herb

Also known as Berberis vulgaris, mountain grape, pepperidge, berberry and common grape, barberry has played a prominent role in herbal healing for more than 2,500 years. The ancient Egyptians used it to prevent plagues. India's Ayurveda healers used it for dysentery. During the early middle ages, European herbalists used it to treat liver and gallbladder ailments. Russian healers used it for inflammations, high blood pressure, and for abnormal uterine bleeding. American Indians recognized barberry as similar to Oregon grape.

"The bark of barberry root contains an alkaloid which promotes the secretion of bile, say Ferrell et al. in Natural Remedies Encyclopedia. "This makes it outstanding for various liver complaints. Barberry is primarily used for all sluggish liver conditions; and, because of its bitterness, it is best taken in small quantities. An infusion is very helpful for swollen spleen and chronic stomach problems when taken in tablespoon amounts several times a day, especially before meals. Barberry dilates the blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure. It decreases the heart rate, reduces bronchial constriction, and slows breathing. It destroys bacteria on the skin and stimulates intestinal movements. A teaspoon of the root will purge the bowels. Combined with cayenne, goldenseal, and lobelia, it is a specific for jaundice and hepatitis.

"Externally, a decoction of either berries or the bark makes a good mouthwash or gargle for mouth and throat irritations. The fresh juice of the fruit will strengthen the gums and relieve pyorrhea, when brushed on or applied directly to the gums."

Warning: It should not be taken during pregnancy.

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