Stem bark, root bark, berries.
The gallbladder is positively affected by the barberry, the medication leads to an improvement in the flow of bile and results in a reduction of symptoms such as pain in the gallbladder; it can reduce the chances of gallstone formation and is helpful in dealing with jaundice and other bile related disorders. The potent antiseptic effect of the barberry is of great help in treating cases of amebic dysentery, in the treatment of water borne disorders like cholera and in treating any of the other gastrointestinal infections which are caused by bacteria. The liver is also thought to be positively benefited by the barberry and many herbalists prescribe this medication for the treatment of hepatitis and other disorders of the liver. Barberry bark has anti-diarrhea and astringent qualities and this induces rapid healing along the intestinal wall, barberry has a highly beneficial and potent effect on the functioning of the digestive system as a whole and is used in the treatment of all sorts of disorders of the digestive system. Chronic skin conditions usually treated using plants like the Oregon grape - botanical name B. aquifolium and the goldenseal - Hydrasis canadensis, can also be treated using the barberry - chronic disorders like eczema and psoriasis are effectively treated using barberry. As an eye wash, barberry decoction makes for a gentle and effective remedy, however, the decoction must be diluted sufficiently before it is used on the eyes.
Barberry has been naturalized in North America; however, it is a native of Europe and was originally found only there. The plant is grown not only as a medicinal herb but is also cultivated as a common garden plant. The barberry berries are collected during the autumn, while the bark is collected both in the spring and in the autumn.
Barberry contains isoquinoline alkaloids, including berberine and berbamine. Berberine is strongly antibacterial and amebicidal and stimulates bile secretion. Berbamine is strongly antibacterial. Many of the alkaloids are thought to be cancer-inhibiting.
Barberry can be made into an herbal decoction: To prepare this decoction, place a teaspoonful of barberry bark in cup of cold water and boil the bark for ten to fifteen minutes. The solution can be cooled and then strained; it can be drunk thrice daily for treating a variety of disorders. Barberry is also taken in the form of an herbal tincture: This tincture can be taken in doses of two to four ml thrice daily for different disorders.
Barberry may be made into an herbal decoction: To make the decoction, use one teaspoon of the powdered bark or the same amount of the fresh or dried root and boil this in a cup of water - 250 ml, this decoction can be used to gargle for the treating ulcers and a sore throat. Drink a cup of this decoction, a dose of about 250 ml, once before each meal to deal with stomach ulcers and in case of allergic diarrhea. The decoction can also be use in an herbal compress to treat bacterial eye infections. The ripe fruit of the barberry can be made into jams, tarts, compotes or jelly for the treatment of ultra-sensitive intestines. To treat biliary insufficiency, the mother tincture prepared in alcohol can be used with great effect; the same tincture is good for treating infections along the lower abdomen or cases of metrorrhagia. Doses of the tincture can be one teaspoon, thrice a day for a dosage regimen lasting ten days or longer.