The Barberry fruit health benefits are many! Barberries are a delicious, tart fruit native to South West Asia and have been used in traditional medicine since ancient times. This little red berry is packed full of vitamins and minerals that offer amazing health benefits – it’s time you discover them! With several studies showing their potential to promote heart, eye and digestive health plus boost your energy levels, barberry fruit could be the incredible superfood your body needs. Let’s explore further into what makes this nutritious food so great for our bodies.
What is Barberry?
Barberry plants are a type of shrub that belong to the Berberis and Berberidaceae genera. They’ve been widely used for medicinal purposes throughout Central Africa and South Africa, as well as Oregon where some varieties are known as barberry. Not only can rooted, bark, and red berries be medicinally useful, but the fruits of the plant can also be eaten. In addition to being a great source of vitamin C, they have a unique sweet taste. As such, once people get the right information on how to source the plants, they may find it simple to incorporate them into their diets.
The medicinal plant Berberis vulgaris, popularly known as Barberry, is gaining popularity for its unique compounds and beneficial properties. These bioactive compounds such as berbamine, oxycontin, palmatine, bervulcine, and berbamine have been studied in various ways. They provide exciting benefits including hypolipaemia, hypoglycemia antioxidants, and anti-hepatoprotection.
The popularity of using medicinal plants has recently reemerged due to the risk associated with artificial drugs and the environmental damage that often accompanies their usage. For many centuries prior to the access of synthetic treatments, medicinal plants were used to relieve ailments and pain. With increasing evidence pointing to the potential of these plants in modern medicine, it’s no wonder they are quickly becoming one of the go-to options for practitioners looking to give their patients natural relief.
Barberry varieties are becoming increasingly popular among gardeners due to their low maintenance and impressive aesthetics. With a plethora of foliage styles and bright, vibrant colors, you’re sure to find the perfect variety for your garden with options like Japanese barberry, evergreen barberry, yellow barberry, Crimson pygmy barberry, orange rocket barberry, and the Concorde barberry. Not only will these plants add beauty to your garden space but provide low-maintenance shade for perennials and fragrant flowering shrubs.
Barberries are often classified as low to no invasive species, so with careful consideration of their cultivar, these plants can be a great addition to the landscape. Berberis thunbergii, more commonly known as Japanese Barberry, is a species that should be noted for potential invasiveness and thus avoided.
However, there are noninvasive varieties such as the seedless varieties which produce luscious and sweet fruit without the worry of harmful effects on the environment. These shrubs typically have small purple leaves that contrast beautifully against orange-yellow blooms in springtime. Additionally, they don’t take up too much space in the yard or garden and produce an abundance of delicious consumable fruits throughout the year. Whether you’re seeking an elegant topiary look or a naturalistic approach to design, these consumable Barbery Varieties have got you covered!
Barberry fruit nutrition facts
Loaded with nutrients, barberries are a powerhouse of carbs, fiber, and numerous vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is particularly abundant in the berries, which is an antioxidant that could potentially defend against cell injury related to heart issues and cancer.
Barberries are not only a beautiful and vibrant red color, due to anthocyanins- powerful plant pigments that can possibly help with improved cognitive function and better cardiovascular health- but they also contain essential trace minerals such as zinc, manganese, and copper which aid in boosting the immune system.
28grams of dried barberries contain the following nutrients:
- 89 calories
- 18 grams carbohydrates
- 1 gram fat
- 1 gram protein
- 3 grams fiber
- 160 milligrams Vitamin C (213% of RDI)
- 1.2 milligrams iron (15% of RDI for men, 8% of RDI for women)
- 100 IU Vitamin Α (2% of RDI)
- 25 milligrams calcium (2% of RDI)
Barberry fruit health benefits
Barberries are a popular medicinal treatment for various ailments, such as diarrhea, heartburn and digestive disorders. Additionally, the plant’s bark, roots, leaves and fruit can all be used for medicinal purposes. They contain alkaloids that have therapeutic properties, including one called berberine which has been suggested to reduce free-radical damage. Studies have also demonstrated that barberry lowers cholesterol levels when consumed.
Furthermore, barberry has been found to possess antibacterial effects and may help alleviate conditions such as diabetes, liver inflammation and gallbladder inflammation. All in all, barberries are an incredibly useful medicinal plant with numerous health benefits associated with its consumption.
Makes your heart healthier
The barberry plant species has been found to be an effective solution for those facing heart-related health issues. Studies have demonstrated that compounds in the barberry plant can promote healthy blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular problems, particularly in the elderly population. In addition, research has revealed that Barberries can help treat Atrioventricular fibrillation which is caused by an irregular heartbeat. Berberine, a compound found in Barberries, produces an inflammatory response in the heart while extending its active refractory period and improving both ventricular atrial fibrillation activity as well as overall ventricular function.
A recent study revealed that the active alkaloid substance found in barberry, known as berberine, exerts a biochemical effect on the heart, extending its effective refractory period and thus improving atrial fibrillation. Despite this knowledge, mainstream acceptance of berberine as an effective agent against atrial fibrillation has not yet been established due to a lack of human clinical trials surrounding its use. Barberry is additionally known to lower serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thus contributing to better cardiac health and improved quality of life overall.
Can immunize yourself against infections
Fights and helps prevent diabetes
Barberry is a powerful ally in the fight against diabetes, as it can help to both prevent and improve the condition. The active compound within barberry, berberine, has been proven to be a potent oral hypoglycemic agent that is capable to control blood sugar and lipid metabolism just as effectively as common diabetes drugs like metformin. Studies have demonstrated that berberine can improve insulin sensitivity by regulating the secretion of adipokines, which are cell-signaling proteins. This helps to reduce inflammation caused by diabetes, allowing for better control over glucose levels in the body.
It is beneficial for supporting a healthy gastrointestinal tract
Berberine promotes digestive wellbeing by acting on the smooth muscles in the gut, lessening abdominal discomfort and helping enhance digestion. Studies have demonstrated that taking barberry is a successful means of treating diarrhea, including traveller’s diarrhea and food-borne illnesses. Research showed that berberine alleviates bacterial diarrhea without any adverse effects. Evidence has suggested that its astringent qualities might account for it being quicker at resolving gastrointestinal issues than antibiotics.
Detoxifies liver and gallbladder
The liver is responsible for purifying our blood, it manufactures the bile needed to break down fats, neutralizes hormones, and saves vital minerals and iron. Meanwhile, the gallbladder’s primary purpose is to store bile made by the liver that possesses cholesterol. Barberries have been found beneficial in augmenting bile secretion. Impairment of proper bile secretion might be due to a variety of reasons including improper diet. Thus, encouraging the excretion of cholesterol from our body, barberry enhances the health of both gallbladder as well as our liver and lowers ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol; making it an invaluable aid for our digestive system.
Has a positive effect on metabolic disorders such as Metabolic Syndrome
A recent study looked into the effects of barberry, a fruit abundant in antioxidants, on pro-oxidant-antioxidant balance (PAB) of those suffering from Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is an accumulation of three or more interconnected health issues including high blood sugar levels, abdominal obesity, hypertension and elevated triglycerides or decreased HDL cholesterol. PAB assesses the susceptibility of oxidative stress and can be connected to the prospect of coronary heart disease.
Oxidative stress is a relational disproportion between the number of free radicals produced by the body and its capacity to counteract or neutralize their hazardous consequences with antioxidants, thus the lower oxidative stress, i.e. PAB, the better.
In the specific study the participants administered with 600 milligrams of barberries daily for six weeks saw a dramatic reduction in the influence of oxidative stress as measured by PAB, while those in the control group did not experience the same benefits. Supplementing with this herb could help to alleviate the effects of systemic oxidative stress, which is known to worsen symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome and its potential complications.
Barberries may have cancer-prevention properties that are connected to berberine. Berberine is a powerful antioxidant, and can potentially combat underlying oxidative stress implicated in cancer growth. In addition, it is thought that berberine might lead to the death of cancerous cells, stop their replication, as well as restricting some enzymes associated with the lifetime of cancer cells.
Test-tube research indicated that berberine hinders tumor proliferation and activates apoptosis in prostate, liver, bone and breast tissue. Despite this, more studies are vital to comprehend how barberries could assist in suppressing or treating malignancy.
When it’s best?
Barberries are at the peak of their freshness from March to May timeframe. The harvest season is short but the barberries retain their nutrition and flavor due to the drying process that follows shortly after the harvest period has ended. Dried barberries are available year-round and make for an excellent addition to any dish due to their unique flavor profile.
What to look for when buying Barberries?
When looking for Barberries, it is important to ensure you are buying the best quality. Check the product packaging for information on where the berries came from, how they were stored, and whether or not they were organically grown. Knowing as much as possible about the product can help you to make an informed decision when picking your Barberries.
Also when it comes to purchasing barberries, you should consider that the size and color of the berries can vary widely depending on the variety, so make sure to buy what is desired rather than being satisfied with whatever is available. Another key factor is the country of origin, as barberries from Iran are known for having unusually high sugar content, Persian barberries are known for their tart flavor, and Turkish specimens are prized for their juicy yet firm texture.
Additionally, one should assess whether the product was organically-grown or not and if there is any sort of expiration date; freshness and storage life are important when making any food purchase.
Finally, it’s essential to compare prices and potentially shop around from reliable sources; this could mean reading reviews online or just visiting multiple stores. Doing so will ensure access to the best possible barberry selection at the best possible price!
How to store Barberries?
To store them properly and keep them for later use, it is imperative to limit their exposure to the elements that cause spoilage. Barberries can be stored in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag in a cool, dry place away from any moisture and light sources. This will help prevent over-ripening, undesirable color change or mold` formation. Additionally, it would be wise to periodically check the container’s seal and contents for any signs of spoilage. With proper storage methods in place, barberries can retain their taste and texture for months without fear of going bad.
Uses and dosages
The centuries-old practice of using barberry as a medicinal herb can be traced back to Indigenous Americans who taught settlers its value for healing. Also in the distant past, Egyptians employed it alongside fennel seed to ward off plagues and Indians utilized it for treating dysentery.
Historically, herbalists across Europe have used barberry for alleviating gallbladder and liver illnesses, while Russian healers have employed it for resolving inflammation, blood pressure issues, and problems related to uterine bleeding.
Barberries contain several compounds that offer “strong beneficial properties with respect to human health” such as providing pain relief, reducing fever, and deterring vomiting and diarrhea; the plant is also presented as a preventative measure against diseases affecting liver and vascular systems.
Barberry can be taken in a variety of forms, such as pills, extracts and tinctures, as well as an ointment for topical application. Its roots can additionally be brewed into a form of tea.
The amount of alkaloids contained in extracts is usually standardized at 8-12%. There isn’t enough evidence to definitively identify optimal dosages for barberry, so it’s important for children to only consume it under close supervision from healthcare providers. In adults, barberry is typically administered in a dosage of 2g taken 3 times everyday, or an equivalent amount from its extracts.
Risks and Side Effects
No adverse reactions are typically associated with the usage of barberry in standard dosages. On the other hand, a large intake may lead to symptoms such as nausea, disorientation, upset stomach, nosebleeds, faintness, reduced blood pressure, or shallow breathing.
The utilization of berberine is not recommended for babies as it can have an effect on liver performance and possibly worsen jaundice. Furthermore, pregnant women should abstain from taking it due to possible uterine contractions which could cause a miscarriage. Additionally, nursing mothers should avoid barberry as the berberine could be passed onto the baby.
Interactions with medicines
Barberry should never be taken simultaneously when taking cyclosporine and a healthcare provider should be consulted before barberry is combined with:
- anticoagulants/antiplatelet drugs,
- CNS depressants
- some cholinergic used to treat glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease.
Moreover, barberry can impair the efficacy of antibiotics in the tetracycline family such as:
- lovastatin (Mevacor),
- indinavir (Crixivan),
- clarithromycin (Biaxin),
- sildenafil (Viagra),
- triazolam (Halcion).
In general, you should contact your doctor before you take barberry with any medication.
To conclude, barberries are a great natural remedy, as it has an extensive list of health benefits and nutrition that is backed by studies. It can be helpful to treat many ailments like bladder, urinary tract, gastrointestinal or respiratory infections and even certain forms of cancer. Not forgetting the fact that it is excellent for liver and gallbladder health.
That being said, do bear in mind that not all people will benefit from taking barberries in their diet as different bodies respond differently to compounds within barberry. As such, it is encouraged to always consult with your doctor if you’re considering adding this to your mix of remedies or medications. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that Barberry is indeed a powerful herb with a spicy-sour flavor indeed worthy of its claim as an ancient superfood.
By NutriWins team