Are you aware that the herb called barberry is capable of improving heart health, cleansing the gut, and could even prevent diabetes and cancer? In fact, berberine, a component found in barberry, helps to inhibit bacteria growth and so can help boost the body’s immunity.
Well, in case you didn’t know, barberry or Berberis vulgaris is a shrub that grows all over the subtropical and temperate regions of the world. It is quite common and you may have even seen the plant around your house. For so many years, barberry has been used medicinally throughout the world.
As a matter of fact, barberry extract can alleviate hypertension, abnormal heartbeat, as well as has positive effects on cardiovascular health including the treatment of neural disorders such as convulsions and epilepsy.
We found a few other reasons why barberry is excellent for a healthy body.
Good for Heart Health
Barberry liquid extract has been shown to be beneficial for treating hypertension by dilating blood vessels, abnormal heartbeat, epilepsy, and convulsions.
According to a study published in 2012 in “Circulation Journal”, berbamine, an active compound in barberry, also helps in protecting the heart against ischemic injury. Other studies show that berbamine can enhance the heart muscles and strengthen the heart.
In fact, alternative medicine and supplementation with herbs like barberry have been found to be potent at treating atrial fibrillation, lower triglycerides and cholesterol, which is perfect for heart health and total wellbeing.
Aids the GI Tract
Barberry also improves digestion, acts on the muscles that line the intestines, and lowers gastrointestinal pain. Due to its astringent properties, it can treat diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues more quickly than any antibiotic.
Has Anti-inflammatory & Antioxidant Components
In addition to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, barberry also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities that are essential for the body. This implies that barberry can be used in treating skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis.
The herb can also help in reducing inflammation and treating infections such as urinary tract and bladder infections. It also alleviates respiratory-related illnesses such as nasal congestion, sore throat, sinusitis, and bronchial constriction.
A Natural Treatment for Diabetes
Some studies have indicated that barberry may protect the body against Type 2 diabetes. These studies show that consuming a preparation of barberry and milk thistle can treat diabetes and regulate blood sugar levels.
Barberry also improves insulin sensitivity by regulating adipokine secretion and treats lipid metabolism and glucose disorders.
Acts as a Natural Antibacterial Agent
Berberine, an active and bitter alkaloid found in barberry, possesses significant antimicrobial activity to combat a host of organisms, including viruses, bacteria, Chlamydia, helminths, fungi, and protozoan. Its antibacterial properties have also proven potent for fighting against, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Shigella, Escherichia Coli, and Salmonella.
As of now, the most common clinical uses of berberine include treating ocular trachoma infections, bacterial diarrhea, and intestinal parasite infections. Several studies have indicated that barberry may alleviate the symptoms of diarrhea faster than antibiotics. Also, berberine improves liver health, supports bile secretion, controls the digestion, and acts as a purgative.
Treats Urinary Tract Infections
Barberry helps to improve urinary, gastrointestinal, bladder and kidney function by easing symptoms such as inflammation, discomfort, cramping, and irritation. The herb is good for treating gallbladder and kidney stones issues. Barberry has significant antifungal, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal properties. It helps protects the body against certain infections by preventing the bacteria from attaching to cells.
Barberry is used to alleviate a host of infections and inflammation in the body. It helps to relieve common respiratory tract issues, including bronchitis, sinusitis, nasal congestion, sore throat. The herb can also be used to treat Candida infections.
Cleanses the Liver and Gallbladder
Barberry can be very effective in cleansing the liver and in acting as a gallbladder flush agent. Its active compound, berberine also controls digestion, acts as mild purgative, and supports the secretion of bile. Its ability to support in the secretion of bile is essential since cholesterol is eliminated from the body via bile secretion. However, since the secretion can be affected by a number of factors, including a poor diet. What barberry does is to improve the health the liver and gallbladder by increasing the secretion of bile.
Combats Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a metabolic disorder that involves high blood sugar, abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol or high triglyceride levels. A supplementation with barberry has been linked with the suppression of systemic oxidative stress. This means that people who suffer from metabolic syndrome can lower oxidative burden by supplementing with barberry and avoid possible health complications.
Precautions and Possible Side Effects of Barberry
If normal doses of barberry are consumed, it is generally safe and there are no side effects. However, with very high doses, there have been reports of vomiting and nosebleeds.
It is important to note that young children should not consume berberine as it can impair liver function and might aggravate jaundice. Also, because it can trigger uterine contractions and miscarriage, pregnant women should not take it. Nursing mothers should also not take barberry as berberine can be passed to the child this way.
And for people who are on any prescription medicines, it is advisable to check with a doctor before taking supplements or non-prescription medicine. People who suffer from chronic health problems, such as diabetes or liver issues, should check with a doctor before taking barberry supplements. Although it can be effective for lowering blood sugar, diabetic patients should avoid combining it with prescription medicines for diabetes.
The Bottom Line
We can all agree that barberry is a potent herbal remedy. Aside from treating urinary tract, bladder, respiratory, and gastrointestinal infections, barberry has strong antifungal, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal properties. It also helps in alleviating heart palpitations, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and liver/gallbladder health.
As a matter of fact, it combats infection, supports the GI tract, cleanses the gallbladder and liver gallbladder, fights some types of cancer, and improves skin health.
Evidently, barberry supplements are seriously worth considering as a natural remedy for certain ailments!