Berberis vulgaris, also known as barberry, has been used in the Middle East, Europe, China, and India for healing purposes. For medicinal purposes, Berberis vulgaris has been studied in terms of its fruit and also in terms of its root. When evaluating research studies with Berberis vulgaris, it is important to note the distinction between fruit extract and root extract. Often Berberis vulgaris is mentioned without making a distinction between the fruit and the root. The Berberis vulgaris root has a yellow color which indicates content of berbamine and berberine. Berberine is isolated as a main alkaloid from the roots and bark of Berberis vulgaris.
The Berberis vulgaris plant
Berberis vulgaris is a shrub growing up to 8 feet in height common to most areas of temperate Europe and the Northeastern regions of the United States. It produces a fruit (Fructis Berberidis) that can be harvested in early autumn.
Berberis vulgaris chemicals
Substances in the Berberis vulgaris plant include carbohydrates, organic acids, some vitamins, poliphenolic compounds, pectin, tannin, and minerals, jatrorrhizine, palmatine. Berberis vulgaris also has berbamine and berberine. Berberine is a plant alkaloid with a long history of medicinal use in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It is present in Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal), Coptis chinensis (Coptis or goldenthread), Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape), Berberis vulgaris (Berberis vulgaris), and Berberis aristata (tree turmeric). The berberine alkaloid can be found in the roots, rhizomes, and stem bark of the plants.
Berberis vulgaris health benefit
Extracts from Berberis vulgaris fruit appear to have natural antihistamine and anti-allergy potential. See allergy for a list of herbs and nutrients that could potentially be helpful in reducing allergy symptoms.
Extract of Berberis vulgaris
herb may have beneficial effects on both the
cardiovascular and neural system suggesting a potential use for treatment
of hypertension, tachycardia and some neuronal disorders, such as epilepsy
and convulsion. Traditionally Berberis vulgaris has been used for liver and
gastrointestinal disorders along with anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial, and
Berberis vulgaris fruit extract has anti-hypertensive potential.
Pharmacological and therapeutic effects of
Berberis vulgaris and its active constituent, berberine.
Phytother Res. 2008 Aug; Imanshahidi M, Hosseinzadeh H. Imanshahidi M, Hosseinzadeh H. Pharmacodynamy and Toxicology Department, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, I.R. Iran.
Barberry (Berberis vulgaris L. family Berberidaceae) is well known in Iran and various parts of this plant including its root, bark, leaf and fruit have been used as folk medicine. The two decades of research has demonstrated different pharmacological and therapeutic effects of Berberis vulgaris and its isoquinoline alkaloids (particularly berberine). Studies carried out on the chemical composition of the plant show 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 Berberis vulgaris (barberry), berberine is present in many other plants and is used for the treatment of different diseases. This article reviews the traditional uses and pharmacological effects of total extract and the most active ingredient of Berberis vulgaris (berberine).
Berberis vulgaris use in Bulgaria
Extracts obtained from the roots of Berberis vulgaris species have been used in Eastern and Bulgarian folk medicine in rheumatic and other chronic inflammatory disorders. The investigations of the chemical composition and immunological properties show that their activity is mainly due to the alkaloid constituents, berberine and oxyacanthine.
Berberis vulgaris studies
A pharmacological study on Berberis vulgaris fruit extract.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Oct 31;102(1):46-52. Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
Berberis vulgaris fruit (Berberis vulgaris) is known for its antiarrhythmic and sedative effects in Iranian traditional medicine. The effects of crude aqueous extract of Berberis vulgaris on rat arterial blood pressure and the contractile responses of isolated rat aortic rings and mesenteric bed to phenylephrine were investigated. The present data support the hypothesis that the aqueous extract of Berberis vulgaris has beneficial effects on both cardiovascular and neural system suggesting a potential use for treatment of hypertension, tachycardia and some neuronal disorders, such as epilepsy and convulsion.
The antihypertensive and vasodilator effects of aqueous
extract from Berberis vulgaris fruit on hypertensive rats.
Phytother Res. 2005 Jun 2;19(3):222-225
The aqueous extract from Berberis vulgaris fruit - Berberis vulgaris - was tested to evaluate its antihypertensive effects on DOCA-induced hypertension in the rats. The present results suggest that the antihypertensive and vasodilatory effects of Berberis vulgaris fruit extract are mainly endothelial-independent and it may be used to treat hypertension, a status with endothelial dysfunction.
Determination of four alkaloids in Berberis plants by HPLC
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2003 Dec;28(12):1132-4.
In order to assess Berberis, a simple and effective high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method was established. By applying HPLC with gradiation elution, this method was developed for determination of four kinds of alkaloids including berbamine, Jatrorrhizine, berberine and palmatine in methanolic extracts from root bark, root, stem bark and stem of Berberis. The alkaloids berbamine, jatrorrhizine, berberine and palmatine shown good linear correlations. The optimized HPLC method was applied to analyze various samples, and the results shown that the content of alkaloids were obvious difference in Berberis from different area, different species and different parts.
Home bilberry extract information