HERBS: How to use them for maximum benefit. Short and sweet descriptions and uses written by our on-staff Nutritional Herbalist. Always remember that herbs should be treated as a medicine. Almost all of our modern-day medicines are derived from compounds found in herbs and plants. If you have not used a particular herb before, try a half dose at first to make sure you do not have an unfavorable reaction to it.
Barberry Berberis Vulgaris (Common Barberry)
Medicinal Properties: Very bitter, barberry stimulates the liver, spleen and uterus, lowers fever and blood pressure, controls bleeding and reduces inflammation. It has been used for malaria due to its effectiveness against disease-causing organisms. It has also been used for hepatitus, tumors of the liver, gallstones and to support chemotherapy. Barberry is most highly regarded in herbalism as a liver detoxifier.
How to Use: Make a tea by steeping 1 tsp of the leaves, stems or fruit in 1 C of steaming water, take 1-2 cups per day for no longer than a week at a time.. Capsules, tablets, extracts.
Parts Used: Leaves, stem, root and fruit
Warnings: Do not take if you are pregnant. Several species of this shrub are harmful if any part of it is eaten.
Some Herb Basics: Most herbs work better on an empty stomach. A few exceptions are garlic, goldenseal and cayenne due to stomach upset. Herbs work in a cumulative fashion meaning they are not a “one dose wonder.” They need to build up in the sytem a little, usually within 2-3 doses, before any real affect can be noticed. Fresh herbs always work better than old herbs and science is always proving the fact that a whole herb usually is more effective than one isolated compound of that herb.