Barberry / Pepperidge Bush

Berberis vulgaris

Barberry (botanical name Berberis vulgaris) is a deciduous shrub that grows straight up to a height of anything between 3 feet and 8 feet. This herb produces leaves whose shape is either oval with narrow ends at the base having soft hairs at their ends.

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The leaves are generally two inches in length and about a third in width. The small and yellow hued flowers of barberry appear in clusters, while the fruit is highly acidic and is an intensely red hued elongated shaped berry appearing on the branches of the shrub.

The ancient Greek as well as the Arabian physicians employed this potently astringent and therapeutic plant to cool down the blood when one suffered from fevers and also to cure jaundice as well as gastrointestinal problems. On the other hand, the Indians of North America used barberry to treat peptic ulcers.

Herbalists in the West recommend the use of barberry to treat liver disorders attributable to drug or alcohol abuse, while practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine promote its use in the form of a detoxifying agent as well as a tonic for the liver. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), barberry is used internally to cure diarrhea.

Chemical analysis of barberry has revealed that it encloses alkaloids which are believed to slow down the growth of cancer. In addition, barberry also demonstrates a wide range of anti-microbial actions.

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The efficiency of the homeopathic remedy Berberis, prepared from the bark of the shrub's root, was first established by Dr. Hesse way back in 1835 and this medication is primarily taken to treat digestive and urinary problems that are accompanied with a piercing or colicky pain (sudden and severe pain in the abdominal region).

Individuals who respond best to the homeopathic remedy Berberis are those who have a propensity to sluggishness, weariness and slowness. Such people may possibly find it hard to continue with any mental endeavour or to think forthrightly. They are also likely to be anxious, particularly at twilight, when the objects may seem to be exaggerated as well as unclear which may make one to mistake them to be monsters.

People who require Berberis most usually suffer from a number of characteristic physical symptoms, which may include dehydrated mucous membranes, paleness as well as depressed eyes and cheeks. This homeopathic remedy is prescribed for treating an unusual type of pain, which is usually explained as a profound, sharp, neuralgic or colicky pain that spreads externally and frequently moves from one area of the body to another.

Such sort of an abrupt pain is usually related to kidney infection, gout or arthritis. It is worth mentioning here that Berberis strongly corresponds to the digestive as well as the urinary systems and it is primarily employed to cure disorders related to the kidneys.

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It may be noted that by no means barberry is a new therapeutic plant and, in fact, Berberis, prepared from the root bark of the plant, is also not something new to the homeopathic world. While it is possible that there have been a wide variety of uses of barberry over the years, people were never indecisive regarding the therapeutic properties of this herb. It is believed in homeopathy that barberry possesses several anti-microbial activities.

Several centuries back, Berberis was proved to be an efficient homeopathic remedy and ever since, people have relied on it for its numerous therapeutic uses.

Berberis especially has an effect on the lumbar region - the kidneys and the uterus. At times, people who respond best to this homeopathic remedy cannot tell the precise area of their problem, but the pain generally occurs at someplace in the back and soars through the back. Sometimes, it may also radiate to the spermatic cord, the testes, buttocks, bladder or the legs.

It is likely that the pain will shoot up or shoot down or move in both directions. The patient experiences pain throughout his/ her body, originating from somewhere in the back. It may be of stabbing, tweaking, lancinating, piercing or wrenching nature, moving all around; sometimes at one place and sometimes at the other.

Often, the patient experiences a simmering sensation in the vicinity of the kidneys. While this feeling may occur at other places as well, it generally occurs in the region of the kidneys.

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Parts used



Earlier, the herb barberry was employed to treat jaundice, hemorrhages, dysentery and diarrhea. Currently, homeopathic physicians still continue to use the remedy Berberis to cure jaundice plus gallstones and problems related to the liver.

The primary use of the homeopathic remedy Berberis is for kidney infections, particularly when there is a throbbing pain in the vicinity of the kidneys. Any abrupt movement, arising after sitting for a prolonged period or pacing very fast down the stairs may worsen debility as well as the pain in the region of the lower back.

Generally, people requiring Berberis most appear very pale and their mucous membranes become dehydrated, while the symptoms are likely to change very fast.

Berberis is especially given to patients, who suffer from unexpected, piercing, spreading out pain that rapidly shifts from one place to another either due to inflamed backs or joints, menstrual periods or colic. It is effective for treating pain in the lower back and sciatic tenderness that descends toward the thigh and worsens to a great extent when the patient arises from a sitting position.

Berberis is also helpful in easing tense, pressing headaches as well as a piercing and moving urinary pains. However, it is advised that prior to using Berberis in such conditions, you need to consult a professional homeopathic physician to determine if the bladder or the kidneys are involved.

Irrespective of the ailments, the pains that are cured by Berberis may spread out all the more when they occur suddenly accompanied with vibrating motions.

Characteristically, people who depend on the homeopathic remedy Berberis have a propensity to be somewhat languid. Usually, such people are short of vivacity and are habitually simply indolent.

It is difficult for them to think in the conventional way and also do not put in any kind of effort or energy that is needed for any activity. In addition, such people also have a propensity to exaggerate things and this tendency increases with the passage of time. People requiring Berberis generally mull over such thoughts till they nearly become intolerable.

Some of the condition specific uses of Berberis are discussed briefly below.

Kidney disorders

Berberis is an effective homeopathic remedy for kidney infections accompanied with sensitivity and pain in the region of the kidney; something like water is struggling to simmer through the skin. People suffering from kidney disorder and requiring Berberis usually pass deep yellow or green urine having reddish sediment akin to bran.

In addition, this homeopathic remedy may possibly also aid in treating kidney stones accompanied with acute, sharp, neuralgic or colicky pain that spreads out from the kidneys to the bladder and even downwards to the legs.

Gallbladder problems

People enduring gallbladder problems, especially those accompanied with sharp, spreading out, violent pain in the region of the gallbladder, expanding in the direction of the stomach may find Berberis beneficial. Colic may also result in piercing, stitching pain that spreads out from the region of the liver.

Patients suffering from this condition may have inflammation of the gallbladder or the gallstones with related biliary colic (soreness in the upper portion of the abdomen) that may at times result in jaundice with pallid stools.


The homeopathic remedy Berberis is also effective for burning or piercing and cutting aches spreading from the bladder toward the urethra and accompanied with either green or deep yellow urine having reddish sediment that is akin to bran. Patients suffering from this condition may experience soreness radiating from the spermatic cord to the testes that may result in excruciating sexual intercourse.

Joint pain

People suffering from common joint as well as muscle pains in the arms and the legs, accompanied with sudden piercing aches spreading externally and downwards to the limbs respond well to the homeopathic remedy Berberis. In addition, people suffering from pains caused by arthritis and gout also benefit from taking this homeopathic remedy.

Lower back pain

Berberis is also effective in healing the soreness in the lumbar region (lower back) that spreads outwardly or downwards to the thigh and occurs together with rigidity and probably by a stitch-like pain in the region of the abdomen or any side of the body.


Like in the instance of other homeopathic remedies, Berberis also needs a very particular preparation. This remedy is prepared from the bark of the barberry's petite or medium sized roots, which are dried up and sliced. Subsequently, the chopped roots are macerated in alcohol, strained, watered down and eventually succussed.

The resultant solution practically does not contain even the slightest trace of the barberry plant and is known as the homeopathic remedy Berberis, which is an extremely useful remedy for an assortment of health conditions.


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