The root bark of barberry, an 8-foot-high shrub identified by its yellow root and dainty yellow blooms, is prescribed for several liver ailments. Herbalists also use the herb to reduce blood pressure, aid digestion and fight infection. These effects on the body are attributed to the herb's active ingredients called isoquinoline alkaloids, which include berberine, berbamine and oxyacanthine.
Taken internally for:
Barberry tea gargled for:
Barberry compress used for:
Over the counter:
Barberry is available as root, fluidextract, and powder.
Tea: 1 oz. barberry root in 1 cup water boiled for 15 to 20 minutes, then cooled. Can be sweetened with honey.
Compress: A clean cloth soaked in barberry tea and applied directly to the infected area.
Combinations: For liver cleansing, 1 part barberry root, 1 part wild yam, 1 part dandelion, 1/2 part licorice root combined. 1 oz. simmered in 1 pint of water for 10 minutes, then strained through a coffee filter.