Herb Library: Natural Herbs and Herbal Supplements Directory: Barberry





This fact sheet provides basic information about barberry. Barberry has a long history of use as a folk remedy for digestive disorders, infection, indigestion, gallbladder disease and heartburn. The barberry is native to the temperate and subtropical regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and South America.

Common Names

Barberry, Mountain Grape, Pepperidge, Berberry, Common Grape

Latin Names

Berberis vulgaris

What It Is Used For

  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Liver and Gallbladder Conditions
  • Urinary Tract Infections

How It Is Used

Medicinal substance derived from the root and berry of the plant.

What the Science Says

  • Research studies indicate that the alkaloid berberine may fight bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections.
  • One study suggested that berberine may be active against Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Some sources say that the berry portion of barberry is more effective at combatting urinary tract infections than the root.

Side Effects and Cautions

  • Barberry may cause diarrhea, especially in larger amounts.
  • Barberry may lower blood pressure.
  • Overdose of barberry can result in nosebleeds, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion and kidney irritation.


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