Jaundice berry is an erect thorny shrub with stalked, thin and egg shaped leaves in bunches of 10, with yellow flowers and red, oblong berries. It has dark brown bark and yellow wood.
The bark contains many active alkaloids, like berberine, oxyacanthine, and columbamine which are all antibacterial. Berberine also has antiviral properties, tannin, resin, fat and starch are other constituents of the herb.
Botanical Name: Berberis vulgaris
Indian Name: Ambarbaris
Below are some of the medicinal properties of Jaundice berry:
- Jaundice berry is highly beneficial as a bitter tonic in jaundice and other liver disorders. The pulverized bark is given several times a day in doses of quarter teaspoon. Alternatively, the fluid extract can be given in 2 or 4 gram doses.
- Jaundice berry is very useful in the treatment of high blood pressure. Research has shown that it dilates the arteries thereby lowering blood pressure.
- The leaves of the plant are anti-scorbutic or anti-scurvy. A decoction of the leaves as well as the juice of the berry can be given with beneficial results in scurvy.
- It acts as an effective purgative when taken in large doses of more than one fourth of a teaspoon of pulverized bark or 4 gram doses of the fluid extract.
- The berries contain citric acid malic acids useful in arresting secretion or bleeding and in promoting the flow of bile. Their juice can be given in inflammatory and malignant fevers, especially typhus and typhoid, in doses of 2 to 4 grams.
- Jaundice berry is useful in menstrual disorders such as painful periods and excessive loss of blood. It has also been found beneficial during labor.
This herb should not be used during pregnancy as the alkaloid berberine stimulates the uterus, and may cause abortion.