( Berberis aquifolium )
Parts used; Root
Oregon Grape is a evergreen shrub that grows to 6ft. It has shiny leaves,small yellowish green flowers and purple berries in autumn.
It grows in Rocky Mountains,in woods from Colorado to the Pacific coast.
Oregon Grape contains isoruinoline alkaloids,berberine,berbamine,hydrastine,. These alkaloids are strong antiseptic and thought to reduce the severity of psoriasis.
California Native people took a decoction or tincture of bitter tasting root for loss of appetite and debility. in the 19th and 20th centuries the herb was important in the Physiomedicalist movement,based on a combination of conventional and Native American practices,when it was prescribed as a detoxifier and tonic.
It is chiefly used for gastritis and general digestive weakness,to stimulate gallbladder function,to reduce congestion (mainly of the gut).
It also treats eczema,psoriasis,ache,boils,and herpes,skin conditions linked to poor gallbladder function. In Germany clinical use of extracts shows that there is now evidence that the root can be very effective in relieving psoriasis. Extracts can be taken internally and applied locally on the skin. The alkaloid berberine is thought to prevent cell proliferation.
Do not take during pregnancy