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Oregon Grape Root And Barberry

Oregon grape Root and Barberry (Mahonia spp.)


Oregon grape fruit and barberry are known as Mahonia spp. scientifically and they both contain berberine chemical. This chemical is responsible for either slowing down or stopping bacteria growth and as such, helps with the functioning of the immune system. These are shrubs which are ever green, deciduous or semi-evergreen. Spiny edges are what form the leaves which are divided to leaflets. The flowers of these herbs are yellow and their production is always in clusters. The fruits are berry like and they are formed once bloom is over and the colors vary from blue, red, purple to a bluish black. What is more, the fruits are known to attract birds.


Medicinal Uses

Oregon grape fruit and Barberry (Mahonia spp.) have numerous medicinal uses and in essence, have been used for centuries for treat different types of ailments. These can be used for the treatment of fevers, poor appetite, indigestion and diarrhea. They contain a chemical that is known as berberine and this has immunity boosting and antibacterial properties that make the herbs an ideal choice for treatment of different types of ailments. When used in alternative medicine, they are used for the purpose of treating high blood pressure, inflammation, convulsions, epilepsy and other types of ailments.


Some of the constituents that make Oregon grape fruit and barberry trusted in medicinal use include photochemical, hydrastine, columbamine, oxyacanthine, jatrorrhizine and tannins. Barberry however contains additional minerals and nutrient vitamins.


Dosage and Administration

The dosage of Oregon grape fruit and barberry (Mahonia spp.) will vary in accordance to the manner in which it is administered. It can be used as tincture, tea or in capsule form and for this reason, it is important to ensure that proper dosage is adhered to. In this respect, consider the following.


  • In tea form, you are supposed to take ½ to one teaspoon of the dried root which is steeped in one hundred milliliters of water. This tea should be taken 3 times a day though the dosage will vary in the case of chopped herb.
  • In tincture form, you are supposed to take three to six milliliters and this translates to ½-1 ½ teaspoons 3 times a day. The dosage usage should not exceed three times.
  • When it is been used for the treatment of skin disorders, only ten percent tincture should be used in the form of ointment and this should be applied on your skin 3 times everyday.


Parts Used

For medicinal purposes, the roots are commonly used though the fruits are also edible.



Basically, there are several benefits associated with Oregon grape fruit and barberry (Mahonia spp.) and some of these are as highlighted below.


  • One of the major benefits associated with Oregon grape fruit and barberry is the ability to control stool passage through small intestines.
  • There are instances when bacteria implant itself on the lining of the small intestines and the herbs are effective for keeping it off.
  • The herbs have also proven to be effective for the purpose of boosting the immune system.
  • Oregon grapefruit is known to increase platelet blood count.
  • Because they contain tannins, these cross link with proteins found in the throat and nose linings as well as the digestive tracts and as such, seal them against infections.
  • People with skin conditions such as psoriasis can benefit from these herbs since they reduce cases of inflammation, itching and irritation.
  • Berberine is one of the components found in these herbs and it provides protection against fungi, bacteria, helminthes, Chlamydia and protozoan.
  • Because of the sedative properties of these herbs, they are also used for the purpose of relieving abdominal pain and stomach cramps.


Side Effects    

While there are no definite side effects associated with these herbs, there are precautionary measures which need to be taken into consideration and ideally, they include the following.


  • Since the herbs contain berberine, they can trigger uterine contractions and cause miscarriage in expectant women.
  • The herbs should not be used by nursing women, young children or people with kidney or liver diseases.
  • These herbs should not be taken by people using blood thinners, antibiotics, blood pressure medications, water pills, antihistamines or diabetic medication.


The use of Oregon grape root and barberry (Mahonia spp.) should be limited to 7 consecutive days after which a break should be taken for a week before commencing with use of the herb once more.  


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