Barberry bark and berries have been used for many health conditions throughout the ages. Most of the herb’s uses for health purposes are based on long traditional applications.
In recent years, the plant’s constituents, especially some of its alkaloids, have gained interest within the scientific community and numerous studies have been conducted on their effectiveness.
People have used barberry for, e.g., the following conditions:
- kidney, liver, and spleen ailments
- dental plague
- bladder problems
- heart health
- blood circulation
Antibiotic Effect of Barberry
Barberry has been shown to be effective in fighting bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections.
The plant bark contains few alkaloids of which berberine is the most prominent, and according to laboratory studies, it has an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, sedative, and anticonvulsant effect.
The Immune System
Berberine is possibly an immune system enhancer by stimulating specific immune cells, so they work better.
Barberry is commonly used to treat bacterial diarrhea and parasitic infections of the intestines.
Research studies indicate that berberine inhibits bacteria’s ability to attach to the cells in the body, which helps prevent infections. 1
Due to berberine’s bactericidal properties, it can be used against a variety of bacterial strains, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus, Viridans streptococci and Escherichia coli.
Research has shown that herbs that contain berberine may be used as remedies for yeast infections.
Studies show berberine kills Candida albicans by inhibiting the production of critical components in their cell membrane. 2
The herb’s bactericidal and fungicidal effect can make it useful for amoebic dysentery, malaria, cholera, giardia, salmonella, E. coli and similar gastrointestinal infections.
Also, berberine inhibits Heliobacter pylori, a bacterium involved in gastric ulcer and inflammation of the stomach lining of the stomach.