9 Impressive Health Benefits of Barberries

Medically Reviewed on 7/8/2022
9 Impressive Health Benefits of Barberries
Barberries are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals.

Barberries are long, red berries that grow on small barberry shrubs. Due to their distinctively sour flavor, barberries go well with both savory and sweet foods. Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) is a member of the Berberidaceae family.

  • Other names for barberry are common barberry and European barberry.
  • Barberries share a relationship with the medicinally potent Nepalese barberry (Berberis aristata), Indian barberry (Berberis asiatica), and Oregon grape (Berberis or Mahonia aquifolium).
  • Because of its decorative leaves and yellow flowers, it is a well-liked garden shrub.
  • Barberry was brought to North America from Europe and Asia. It grows wildly from Pennsylvania to Canada.
  • Barberry has been used medicinally for more than 2,500 years. In Indian folk medicine, it has been used to treat diarrhea, lower fever, increase appetite, relieve upset stomach, promote vigor, and enhance overall well-being.
  • It is often used as medicine in Iran, especially for biliary issues, including gallbladder illness and heartburn.
  • Berberine, an alkaloid compound found in abundance in barberries, probably works as an antioxidant to fend off several ailments.
  • Barberries are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals.
  • Both iron and vitamin C are abundant in barberry. It has fiber, zinc, copper, and manganese.
  • This shrub's anthocyanins may improve health, including heart and brain health.

9 health benefits of barberries

  1. Reduce infection and skin disorders: Traditionally, barberry has been used to treat candida (yeast) infections of the skin or vagina, as well as inflammation and infection of the urinary, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts (sore throat, nasal congestion, sinusitis, and bronchitis). Additionally, psoriasis and acne flare-ups may reduce after taking barberry extract. To verify these results, additional studies are required.
  2. Treat diarrhea: Diarrhea brought on by food poisoning and traveler's diarrhea may respond well to treatment using barberry.
    • According to a few studies, barberry treats symptoms as efficiently as antibiotics do, possibly because of its astringent qualities. However, these studies are small-scale and unreliable.
    • Barberry should ideally be used in combination with regular antibiotic medication because the serious effects of bacterial diarrhea make it inappropriate to utilize the herb alone to treat symptoms.
    • The efficiency of antibiotics could be lower if barberry is taken along with them. Consult your physician before using them together.
  3. May help manage diabetes: Various studies indicate that barberry extracts may reduce blood sugar levels, which may improve diabetes management.
    • In a three-month study, including 36 patients with type II diabetes, researchers discovered that berberine (contained in the barberries) dramatically lowered HbA1c levels. A drug used to manage high blood sugar levels, metformin, was found to be less effective than berberine.
    • It has been shown that berberine increases insulin sensitivity, which improves cells' capacity to utilize blood sugar. In research conducted in Iran, dried barberry extract was administered to 30 participants with type II diabetes. Their HbA1c levels and blood sugar levels were found to be significantly lower as a result.
  4. Help reduce cholesterol levels: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides could be reduced by the berberine component found in barberry plants.
    • Blood contains a particular kind of fat called triglycerides. Because some LDL can infiltrate arterial walls, LDL is called “bad” cholesterol.
    • The dietary fiber in barberries is excellent to bind extra cholesterol in the intestine, which promotes and boosts the generation of good cholesterol and aids in cholesterol level regulation.
  5. Dental health: Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and plaque may benefit from the use of barberry gel.
    • This is most likely caused by the anti-inflammatory effects of berberine.
    • It could help manage inflammatory dental conditions and their symptoms.
  6. Promote digestion and lower stomach acid: Barberry consumption could promote digestion and calm an upset stomach.
    • The production of saliva is supposed to be increased by bitter herbs, which encourage the formation of stomach acid and digestive enzymes.
    • They are, therefore, specifically used when there is low stomach acid but not when there is heartburn (too much stomach acid could initially exacerbate the situation).
    • Studies on animals suggest that barberry may reduce intestinal spasms and promote digestion like other bitters.
  7. Congestive heart failure: Congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart muscle does not pump enough blood, could be improved with berberine. In a trial, 156 participants with congestive heart failure took 1.2 to 2 grams of berberine daily. They had improved exercise capacity and blood pumping activity of the heart.
  8. Can help fight acne: Acne sufferers may find benefit from barberry extract. In a trial, teenage participants with moderate to severe acne received 600 mg of barberry extract for four weeks. They had considerably fewer lesions than those who took a placebo.
  9. Can help reduce cancer risks: Because berberine is an antioxidant, it may help reduce underlying oxidative stress connected to the development of cancer. Additionally, berberine may prevent the growth of cancer cells and trigger cancer cell death. Enzymes linked to the life cycles of cancer cells could be inhibited. However, barberry cannot replace conventional therapies, such as chemo or radio, when it comes to cancer treatment.


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Medically Reviewed on 7/8/2022
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