|See Also||Botanical Monographs|
Berberis (Berberis vulgaris) has many uses as an antimicrobial herb. To explore the characteristics, medicinal uses and prescribing considerations of this herb in more detail, check out the references indicated. 
- Common Names: Barberry, European barberry, Sowberry
- Family: Berberidaceae
- Habitat: Native to Europe, East Asia and naturalized in eastern North America; prefers deciduous woodlands, chalky soil
- Parts Used: Root and stem bark, fruit
- Constituents: Isoquinoline alkaloids (berberine, oxycanthine), chelidonic acid, resin, tannins, fruit, rich in vitamin C
- Medicinal Actions: cholagogue, hepatic, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiparasitic, (amebicidal), antimalarial, bitter, mild laxative
|Article||Berberine - A medicine for cardiovascular health?, IHP, Feb/March 2009|
- Used to treat liver disease, liver congestion, GB inflammation, gallstones, jaundice, bilious catarrh with constipation
- Malaria, leishmaniasis, amebic dysentery, cholera; weak debilitated systems
The information provided is intended to augment the treatment from a naturopathic doctor or other trained medical professional. Although most herbs are generally safe, it is recommended that you avoid self-prescribing especially when there is an underlying ongoing medical condition, if you are on any prescription medications or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Formulations and Preparation
- Decoction: 1 tsp/cup (10-15 minutes) three times a day
- Tincture: 1-2 mL (1:5, 60%) three times a day
- Generally regarded as safe.
- Side-effects are generally not seen.
- Contraindicated in pregnancy as it may cause uterine stimulation (in vitro, animal) and lactation as it can be toxic and cause jaundice in the newborn
- Caution: not to be used without skilled therapeutic knowledge and not for more than 4-6 weeks
- Drug-Herb Interactions. 
- Reverses leucopenia induced by benzene, cancer chemotherapy (human study)
- Eliminates inclusion bodies of Chlamydia trachomatis in conjunction with sulphacetamide (eye drops, human study)
- Potentiates barbiturates
- Improves outcomes in patients with congestive heart failure taking ACE inhibitors, digoxin, nitrates, and diuretics/spironolactone (human study)
- Boon Heather, Smith Michael (2009) 55 Most Common Medicinal Herbs: The Complete Natural Medicine Guide Second Edition Institute of Naturopathic Education and Research, CCNM Toronto.
- Godfrey Anthony, Saunders Paul, Barlow Kerry, Gowan Matt (2011) Principles and Practices of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine, Advanced Botanical Medicine. V3 CCNM Press, Toronto.
- Stargrove Mitchell Bebell, Treasure Jonathan, McKee Dwight L (2008) Herb, Nutrient and Drug Interactions: Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Strategies
- Brinker Francis (2010) Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions: Plus Herbal Adjuncts With Medicines, 4th Edition Eclectic Medical Publications.