Barberry Bark (Berberis vulgaris) and most often referred to as Barberry but also known as Pepperidge, Sowberry, Kingor, Daruhaldi, Daraharidra and Jaundice Berry is a genus of about 450-500 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs from 1-5 m tall with thorny shoots, native to the temperate and subtropical regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and South America. They are closely related to the genus Mahonia, which is included within Berberis by some botanists.
Constituents and Uses of Barberry Bark:-
Barberry Bark is a very rich natural source of Berberine. Berberine is a bright yellow and somewhat bitter substance, and has long been used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects. This well known antiseptic photochemical, also found in goldenseal and Oregon grape, is used to treat a wide range of infections of the ears, eyes, mouth, throat, staph and strep bacteria, each of which can commonly cause bacterial pinkeye (conjunctivitis). In fact, the pharmaceutical product, Murine eye drops, contain berberine as the active ingredient.
Other common infections that can effectively be treated by Barberry Bark include yeast and bladder infections, and skin disorders, especially those like psoriasis that can benefit from a liver tonic.
Berberis has been used in traditional herbal medicine for hundreds of years and the rich yellow of Berberine, its chief constituent is used as a natural dye.