Barberry is a common garden shrub from Europe and North America. The ripe red berries are used for diarrhoea, dysentery, and fevers. The most common part of the plant used is the dried yellow root, which contains berberine - a bitter alkaloid that aids in the secretion of bile and is good for liver problems, acts as a mild purgative, and helps stimulate digestion.
Traditionally used for correcting liver function and promoting the flow of bile. It is helpful in gallbladder inflammation, gallstones and jaundice. It is useful as a bitter digestive tonic and mild laxative. It is used to purge parasite infections, to tonify and cleanse the bowels.
Barberry is a good alternative to other berberine containing plants such as Goldenseal (which is under threat from over-harvesting).