Barberry, Berberis Vulgaris
Distributed in the European part from the Baltic to the Crimea and the Caucasus. Grows in river valleys, forest edges, on sandy hills and rocky mountain slopes, widely cultivated
This is a shrub of the barberry family, 1.5-2.5 m high, whose branches are studded with thorns. The leaves are small, elongated, with jagged edges, and grow from the base of the spikes.
Blooms in May and June. The flowers are light yellow, with a peculiar smell, collected in a brush. The fruits are bright red, oval, with brown seeds, taste sour, and are poisonous when unripe. Ripens in August – September.
The branch break and the roots of this plant have a bright lemon-yellow Colour.
Medicinal raw materials are leaves, roots and berries. Leaves are collected in the phase of budding and flowering plants. Dry in the shade or under a canopy. The raw material has a peculiar smell, and sour taste. Stored in bags in a ventilated area for 3 years.
The roots are harvested in spring or autumn, cutting down or digging a bush. The root system is not fully used as follows, it is necessary to leave a rootstalk 10-15 cm long.
every 10 square meters of barberry thickets save one intact bush. Harvested raw materials are cut into pieces 10-20 cm long, carefully shaken off the soil and remove rotten and blackened parts.
The bark peels off very easily therefore it is necessary to lay a tarp to reduce losses. The berberine contained in the raw material is highly soluble in water, for this reason, the roots are not washed, but dried in a ventilated room or in a dryer at a temperature of 40-45 ° C, periodically turning over.
Stored in bags, protecting from moisture, 3 years. Barberry roots contain 11 alkaloids. Leaves are rich in berberine, vitamins C and E, carotenoids, apple, lemon and other organic acids.
Barberry preparations have anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, diuretic, choleretic, antimicrobial, astringent, hemostatic, antiseptic, and soothing properties that can lower the tone of the gallbladder.
Used orally for chronic liver diseases and gallbladder, cholelithiasis, peptic ulcer stomach and duodenum, inflammation of the respiratory ways, tuberculosis, uterine bleeding in the postpartum period, and externally used for rinsing with inflammation of the gums. Fruit barberry is used as a diuretic and choleretic agent.
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