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Friday, 11 November 2011

Barberry










Barberry

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Barberry is one of the oldest medicinees. Not too long ago thousands of lives were being saved with the help of mixtures prepared from barberry root. Those mixtures would diminish fever, control common cold and lung infections.

Description of Barberry plant
Barberry, named scientifically as "Berberis Vulgaris", is a thorny shrub with yellow flowers, small red fruits and leaves which are narrow at the base and narrow and serrated on the edges; it grows along with other shrubs at the edge of fields or the outskirts of forests. It's a decorative herb through its nicely colored flowers and fruits which last throughout the year including winter time and through its leaves that change color during the autumn season. Barberry is often cultivated as a hedge in parks and gardens.

barberry It is also planted around houses where because of its thorny aspect that keeps away any unwanted guests. However, barberry is a propitious host for "Puccinia graminis" (stem rust of wheat), and for that reason it's forbidden for the barberry to be cultivated in certain areas like the agricultural ones.

The herb has been used throughout the time for its medicineal characteristics. In the traditional Chinese medicine, barberry was mentioned more than 3000 years ago.

Proprieties of Barberry
In the chemical composition of the herb there are a considerable number of active substances. The bark contains a large number of alkaloids (berberine, berbamine, oxyacantha) and tanines. Barberry fruits contain glucose, fructose, malic acid, pectine, vitamin C. The active substances from the herb bring about the following effects: haemostatic, diuretic, vasodilator, hypertensive, antibacterial (kills bacteria and parasites), and anti-inflammatory. Berberine, the potent agent has numerous usages in controlling different illnesses (stimulates digestion and reduces the gastrointestinal pains) and at the same time it toughens the immune system.

Treatments
Among the most recommended usages of barberry are those against diarrhea (and in its more serious forms - cholera), against fever, anemia and also against hangovers. It's also efficient against a considerable number of infections - malaria or the lung infections, while controlling the secretions of the mucous membrane. It has a strong sedative effect, decreases the blood pressure and is also a uterine stimulant. Barberry can be administrated to help correct the growth of the spleen.
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