Common barberry is a shrub up to 2.5 m high, strongly branched, with tripartite spines on the branches; shortened branches with tufts of leaves develop from the axils of the spines. The leaves are oblong, ciliate-small-serrate along the edge, short-petiolate. The flowers are light yellow, in drooping racemes. The fruits are red, one- and two-seed berries. Blooms in May-June.

Siberian barberry grows in Siberia. In its appearance it differs from the common barberry. This is a shorter, only up to 1 m tall, strongly branched, prickly shrub (it has three-, five-, seven-segmented thorns). The leaves are smaller, up to 2 cm long, the flowers sit singly on peduncles, which are shorter than the leaves and equal in length to the flower itself. The berry is red, broadly oval, up to 9 mm long. In medical terms, the Siberian barberry is considered more effective than the common barberry, which is usually found in the European part of Russia, throughout Ukraine, the North Caucasus, and also in Central and Southern Europe.

For therapeutic purposes, the bark, fruits and leaves of these plants, collected after flowering, are used.

All parts of the plant contain alkaloids: berberine, coraberbamine, columbamine, leontedin, oxyacanthin, yat-rorricin.

Berberine is especially high in barberry leaves. During the fruiting period, vitamin E and essential oil appear in the leaves.

The medicinal properties of the plant are determined mainly by berberine, which lowers arterial blood pressure, slows down heart contractions, increases their amplitude, helps to contract the muscles of the uterus and, by compressing its blood vessels, has a hemostatic effect in uterine bleeding.

Preparations of common barberry reduce the tone of the muscles of the gallbladder, reduce the amplitude of its contraction, and promote bile secretion. In addition, common barberry increases blood clotting.

The third type of barberry is Amur. In scientific medicine, it is used in the form of a tincture of leaves to reduce and reverse the development of the uterus in the postpartum period (in the postpartum period, the same importance is attached to the common barberry). It has been noticed that the Amur barberry has a choleretic effect and can be used for jaundice, rheumatism, pleurisy.

A tincture is prepared from the leaves of the Amur and common barberry, which is administered in drops.

In medical practice, common barberry products are used for uterine hypotension in the postpartum period, in combination with other products as a treatment for inflammation of the uterine mucosa.

Tinctures from the dried bark and roots of barberry are used as hemostatic agents in folk medicine and homeopathy.

In homeopathy, barberry is also used for diseases of the kidneys, liver, urinary tract, and jaundice.

Among the peoples of America, barberry products are used in the treatment of diseases of the liver, gallbladder, as well as a tonic for the intestines and an appetite stimulant.

As a vitamin remedy, they are taken for scurvy, and as a diaphoretic – for malaria.


A decoction of the bark or root: 30 g per 200 ml, taken orally 1 tbsp. spoon every hour with heavy bleeding.

Bark or root tincture 20%: Take 30 drops 3 times daily.

Tincture of common and Amur barberry leaves 30% or 50%: take 30 drops 3 times every day.

One teaspoon of crushed and dried barberry roots is brewed with two cups of boiling water, boiled for 5 minutes, after cooling, filtered and drunk 1/2 cup 3 times every day.

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