Barberry is a bush that grows wild in Europe and North America. It is closely related to
What is Barberry Used for Today?
There are no medically established uses of barberry. Only double-blind placebo-controlled studies
Very weak evidence (too weak to be relied upon at all) hints that barberry root extracts may have anti-inflammatory, fever-reducing, and analgesic (pain-reducing) effects.
Similarly weak evidence hints that barberry fruit may have antihypertensive and antihistaminic effects.
On this basis, berberine has been proposed as a topical antiseptic for use in
Topical formulations of the related plant
Barberry is traditionally used at a dose of 2 grams three times daily, or an equivalent amount in extract form. For treatment of psoriasis
One study suggests that topical use of berberine could cause photosensitivity (an increased tendency to react to sun exposure. 18
Safety in young children and nursing women has not been established.
One study hints that berberine may decrease the efficacy of the drug tetracycline.
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are using antibiotics in the tetracycline
1. Kupeli E, Kosar M, Yesilada E, et al. A comparative study on the anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive and antipyretic effects of isoquinoline alkaloids from the roots of Turkish Berberis species. Life Sci . 2002;72:645–57.
4. Fatehi-Hassanabad Z, Jafarzadeh M, Tarhini A, et al. The antihypertensive and vasodilator effects of aqueous extract from Berberis vulgaris fruit on hypertensive rats. Phytother Res . 2005;19:222–225.
9. Soffar SA, Metwali DM, Abdel-Aziz SS, et al. Evaluation of the effect of a plant alkaloid (berberine derived from Berberis aristata ) on Trichomonas vaginalis in vitro. J Egypt Soc Parasitol . 2001;31:893–904.
10. Stermitz FR, Lorenz P, Tawara JN, et al. Synergy in a medicinal plant: antimicrobial action of berberine potentiated by 5'-methoxyhydnocarpin, a multidrug pump inhibitor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A . 2000; 97:1433–1437.
17. Augustin M, Andrees U, Grimme H, et al. Effects of Mahonia aquifolium ointment on the expression of adhesion, proliferation, and activation markers in the skin of patients with psoriasis. Forsch Komplementrmed . 1999;6(suppl 2):19–21.
23. Liu Y, Yu H, Zhang C, et al. Protective effects of berberine on radiation-induced lung injury via intercellular adhesion molecular-1 and transforming growth factor-beta-1 in patients with lung cancer. Eur J Cancer. 2008 Sep 11.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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