Berberis vulgaris is commonly known as Jaundice Berry or Maider berry. The Indian name of the herb is Ambarbaris.
This erect shrub stands erect and has a distinctive dark brown bark with yellow colored wood. It has stalk with thin egg shaped leaves that form bunches of 10. The plant has yellow colored flowers with oblong berries. The leaves, berries, stem and the root of the Jaundice Berry are used in medicines. The leaves are usually collected in the month of May and June. The ripe berries are cultivated in August and September. The root and stem are usually collected in spring or autumn. These parts are used after making powders, tinctures and decoctions.
The bark of the tree has many active alkaloids. These alkaloids are oxyacanthine, colunbamine and berberine which give it anti bacterial properties. Berberine also provides the plant with antiviral properties. The tannin, fat and resin are other important constituents of the herb.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF THE HERB
The bark of the stem and the root are used widely as a tonic. The plant is known to induce active movement of bowel and increase the secretion of urine. It is known to reduce fever due to its anti bilious as well as antiseptic benefits. The berbine present in the plant accounts for the therapeutic properties of the herb. The jaundice berry can reduce muscle spasms, has antibacterial properties and relieves problems like gastritis as well as chronic cases of peptic ulcer. It is beneficial for the liver and the gall bladder. It is prescribed for use for relieving eczema, rheumatism, hepatitis and psoriasis. The herb is used to relieve the problem of swollen eyes and skin inflammation. A tincture made from this herb can help in this. The tincture is added to a glass of water. A cloth is soaked in it and the excess is squeezed out. This is applied on closed eyes for over 15 minutes around 2 to 3 times in a day.
CARE FOR AILMENTS
THE HERB CAN RELIEVE THE FOLLOWING AILMENTS:
- Liver problems: The Berberis Vulgaris is known to be a bitter tasting tonic that is prescribed in chronic cases of jaundice. The pulverized bark of Jaundice Berry is recommended several times in a day in maximum doses of quarter of a teaspoon. Also the extract of the plant is also given up to the limit of 2 to 4 gms.
- High Blood Pressure: The herb is known to relieve high blood pressure levels. Research has shown that it dilates the arteries and helps in lowering the blood pressure.
- Scurvy: The leaves of Jaundice berries are anti scorbutic and anti scurvy in nature. A decoction made from the leaves and the juices of the berry are used to relieve this problem.
- Fevers: The berries of the plant contain high amounts of malic and citric acids that is used to arrest the excessive secretion of bile and its flow. The juice can also be used an anti inflammatory. It is a perfect remedy for relieving malignant fever due to typus and typhoid.
- Menstrual disorders: The herb is used to relieve menstrual problems such as pain during menstruation and excessive bleeding during the period. It is also a benefiting herb during labour.