Herbal medicine has been using flowers, roots of plants, seeds and flower buds as ingredients for an incredible range of remarkable health benefits. One such plant with benefits to human health is barberry. It has been used for over 2500 years for its numerous medicinal properties
Barberry and goldenseal are used for medicinal purposes because of their berberine content.
The importance of berberine has been known to inhibit the growth of bacteria in the body, thereby reducing inflammation. A lot of chronic diseases can be treated with barberry.
The barberry plant also depicts beneficial effects when it comes to cardiovascular health, neural system health. The antioxidant-rich barberry can also help prevent certain types of cancer.
All of these things make the barberry plants an important element for boosting human health.
Health Benefits Of Berberine
There are a total of 500 species of the barberry plant, which are the deciduous shrubs of the berberis family. It is most prevalent in the parts of Central Asia, North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
Species of Oregon grape, a relative of barberry is also sometimes referred to as the berberine rich fruit.
- These plants produce red berries or fruits which are available as a rich source of vitamin c.
- The entire plant including its root, stem and certain barks contains alkaloids.
- These portions of the plant have antimicrobial, hypertensive, sedative, inflammatory and anticonvulsant effects.
- These plants have also shown a positive impact on the immune system of the human body, providing protection from a range of disease-causing infections.
- The nutrients present in the barberry plant include vitamin c, vitamin b complex nutrients especially thiamine, carotenoids, beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin as well as zinc, chromium, and Cobalt.
Heal The Gastrointestinal Tract
Berberine acts on the muscles of the stomach which are smooth in nature. These muscles are also present on the intestinal lining, which helps in improving digestion and reduce gastrointestinal pain. For those who suffer from ulcers, the barberry plant extract is an effective treatment.
It is also known to cure diarrhea, both traveler’s diarrhea and food poisoning. The berberine compound is known to have benefits better than antibiotics when it comes to gastrointestinal problems. This is because it is filled with astringent properties. The bacteria causing diarrhea can be treated without any negative effects on the treatment.
The barberry plant has shown positive impacts on blood sugar, thereby making it an excellent choice for those who are suffering from insulin sensitivities.
Taking approximately 500 grams of berberine 2 to 3 times a day for 3 months can even replace the drug of diabetes metformin. Along with controlling the level of sugar present in the blood, it is also known to improve liquid metabolism as effectively as metformin.
This is why scientists have also termed berberine as “a potent oral hypoglycemic agent” Berberine works on insulin sensitivity by adjusting the adipokine secretion. Adipokines in the body mediate inflammation, and also control insulin resistivity.
Heart Health Improvement
Not to forget it also helps in improving ischemic heart diseases, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, and cardiac arrhythmias. It also cures the irregular condition of the heart called actual fibrillation where a person suffers from a rapid heart rate causing blood to flow.
Alternative medicines that include bioactive supplementation with activities like yoga and acupuncture when putting together with herbs like barberry, may help treat a person better. These activities may compel the active alkaloid berberine to produce a biochemical reaction in the heart. This may further extend the series of the effective refractory period and improve atrial fibrillation.
Combat Metabolic Syndrome
Three or four health issues when acting together to make a person ill cause metabolic syndrome. This can include the presence of
- high blood sugar
- abdominal obesity
- high triglyceride levels
- blood pressure, or
- low cholesterol
Fruits rich in antioxidants and focus on the oxidant-antioxidant balance, with metabolic syndrome are largely affected by the berberine alkaloid. The plant has shown an impact on oxidative stress an produces an imbalance in the production of free radicals.
This further helps the body to counteract and detoxify their harmful effects by neutralization. The plants act by producing numerous antioxidants so that the oxidative stress is managed better.
Healthy Liver And Gallbladder
The liver is the primary organ, responsible for detoxifying the blood and producing bile. Bile is a compound produced from the liver needed to digest fat, breaking hormones and also absorb essential vitamins minerals. The main job of the liver is to store cholesterol-rich bile. With the regular intake of berberine, bile secretion can be increased.
An improved bile secretion helps excel heart health and also heals the gallbladder and liver for any damage that may have been persistent. Bile secretion can be improved by a variety of ways that may also include removing a poor, getting enough sleep, and including fat-soluble diets.
Risks And Side Effects
Appropriate uses of any compound, be it chemical or herbal does not impact a person’s health negatively. Any overdose can show possible side effects and include the occurrence of diarrhea, nausea, fainting, nose bleeding, decreased heart rate, low breast per minute, and also low blood pressure.
Very young children are not recommended dosages of berberine. In infants, it can interfere with the liver function and worsen conditions of jaundice.
Pregnant women should not consider taking the berberine compound as it causes uterine contractions and may lead to a miscarriage. Barberry should never be taken at the same time as cyclosporine. It has a tendency to interfere with other drugs and also includes interference with Viagra, clarithromycin, lovastatin, and triazolam.
Antibiotics of the tetracycline family and the anticholinergic drugs may find it difficult to act when fed together with the berberine alkaloid. It is best to check with your doctor and confirm the medicines that can be had along with barberry.