Amur barberry

Diseases and effects: chronic diseases of the liver and biliary tract, leishmaniasis, malaria, hemostatic, cholelithiasis, high blood pressure, fever.

Active substances: alkaloid berberine.

Collection time:  May – June

Barberry family – Berberidaceae\r

Low-branched shrub up to 2-3 m in height. Young branches are yellowish, and by the second year of life they acquire a grayish color. Old shoots are covered with corked longitudinally wrinkled bark with bright yellow bast. The leaves are leathery, ovate or lanceolate, with small spiny teeth along the edges. Below they are bright green, with protruding veins. On elongated shoots, the leaves are arranged alternately, and on shortened shoots, they are collected in bunches. At the bases of such bunches there are large three- or five-parted spines, which are considered modified leaves. The flowers are yellow, up to 2 cm in diameter, collected 10-25 in drooping racemes. The fruits are red oval berries up to 1 cm long with one or two large seeds. The fruits are edible; their flesh has a sour taste. Blossoms in May, fruits ripen in September-October and do not fall for a long time.

A detailed phytochemical study of the plant has not been carried out. An alkaloid called berberine has been isolated from its leaves and root bark.\r

In medical practice, the sulphate salt of berberine and tincture from the leaves of the Amur barberry, collected after flowering, are used. The tincture causes constriction of blood vessels, slightly increases blood clotting, enhances (and sometimes causes) uterine contractions. It is used in obstetric and gynecological practice to stop postpartum atonic bleeding and bleeding associated with inflammatory diseases (endometritis, etc.). Along with other uterine preparations, it can be used for subilvolution of the uterus after childbirth.\r

Berberine is prescribed as a choleretic agent for chronic diseases of the liver and biliary tract. When treated with berberine, blood pressure may slightly decrease and the pulse slows down. The substance has chemotherapeutic activity and can be used in the treatment of leishmaniasis and malaria (Mashkovsky, 1967).\r

Berberine is produced in tablets of 5 mg, which should be taken before meals (one or two tablets per dose). 20% tincture of barberry leaves at 40 ° alcohol is taken 30-40 drops 2-3 times every day.\r

The bark of the roots of the Amur barberry is used in the states of Southeast Asia as a hemostatic and uterine remedy. In addition, it is used for gallstone disease and high blood pressure. Barberry roots are part of some plant collections. According to G.E. Kurentsova (1941), they have antipyretic properties.\r

The leaves of the Amur barberry are harvested from mid-May to mid-June. They are dried under a canopy or in the attic. Amur barberry roots are not harvested for medical purposes; only the roots of a related plant are being harvested – the common barberry, common in the European regions of Russia and cultivated there.

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