Tag Archives: Berberine

Barberry (Berberis vulgaris)/Jaundice Berry

Botanical Name:Berberis vulgaris
Family: Berberidaceae
Genus: Berberis
Species: B. vulgaris
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Other Names: Berbery, Common Barberry, Jaundice berry, Mahonia,Barberry

Common Names/Synonyms :- Oregon Grape Root, Rocky Mountain Grape, Mahonia, Pepperidge, Pepperidge Bush, Holy Thorn, Sowberry, Oregon Grape, Berberry, Jaundice Berry, and Daruharidra.
Pepperidge, Pepperidge bush, Pipperidge bush, Sowberry

Habitat : Barberry is  native to central and southern Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia;  it is also naturalised in northern Europe, including the British Isles and Scandinavia, and North America. In the United States and Canada, it has become established in the wild over an area from Nova Scotia to Nebraska, with additional populations in Colorado, Idaho, Washington State, Montana, and British Columbia.  Although not naturalised, in rural New Zealand it has been widely cultivated as a hedge on farms. It is cultivated for its fruits in many countries. It grows in hard, gravelly soil in the northeastern states, and sometimes in rich soils in the western states.Hard, gravelly soil in the northeastern states, and sometimes in rich soils in the western state.

Description:
Berberis is a deciduous shrub growing up to 4 m high. The leaves are small oval, 2–5 cm long and 1–2 cm broad, with a serrated margin; they are borne in clusters of 2-5 together, subtended by a three-branched spine 3–8 mm long. The flowers are yellow, 4–6 mm across, produced on 3–6 cm long panicles in late spring. The fruit is an oblong red berry 7–10 mm long and 3–5 mm broad, ripening in late summer or autumn; they are edible but very sour, and rich in Vitamin C.
Flowers: The flowers are small, pale yellow, arranged in pendulous racemes, 10 to 20 per raceme, towards the ends of the branches. Petals are not notched. Flowers: April – June
Berries: About 1/2 inch long, the bright red, oblong and slightly curved berries ripen in August and September. Bark: Has a slight odor and a bitter taste; colors the saliva yellow when chewed.
Leaves: Alternate or in rosettes
from previous year’s leaf axils; spatula shaped, with numerous spiny teeth; veins on the underside are prominent.
Root Bark: Yellow.

Parts Used: Bark of root or stem.

Harvest: Gather the Barberry root and stem bark in spring or fall, around March and November.

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History: Barberry has been used in herbal healing for more than 2,500 years. The ancient Egyptians used it to prevent plagues. India‘s Ayurveda healers used it for dysentery.
During the middle ages, European herbalists used Barberry to treat liver and gallbladder ailments, infections, stomach problems and skin conditions. Russian healers used it for inflammations, high blood pressure, and for abnormal uterine bleeding.
Native American Indians made a bitter brew from the yellow root. Used in small doses, Barberry tonic was used as an effective treatment for heartburn, stomach upset and ulcers. It was also used to stimulate appetite.

Edible Uses:
The berries are edible and rich in vitamin C, though with a very sharp flavor; the thorny shrubs make harvesting them difficult, so in most places, they are not widely consumed. They are an important food for many small birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings.

A widely available Russian candy called  Barberis is made using extract from the berries, which are pictured on the wrapper.

In Europe, the berries have been traditionally used as an ingredient in making jam. The berries are high in pectin which makes the jam congeal as it cools after having been boiled. In southwestern Asia, especially Iran, the berries are used for cooking, as well as for jam-making. In Iran, barberries are commonly used as a currant in rice pilaf.

Constituents: Berberine (a yellow crystalline, bitter alkaloid), oxyacanthine, berbamine (another bitter alkaloid), tannin, wax, resin, fat, albumin, gum, and starch.

Medicinal Properties and Uses :- Barberry is believed to be an excellent remedy for correcting liver function and promoting the flow of bile. Indicated for inflammation of the gall bladder, gall stones and jaundice (when due to a congested state of the liver). As a bitter tonic with mild laxative effects, it is believed to strengthen and cleanse the system. Also said to be effective in reducing an enlarged spleen The root-bark contains berberine, a bitter alkaloid, that aids in the secretion of bile and is good for liver problems, acts as a mild purgative, and helps regulate the digestive processes. The antibacterial properties of the alkaloid berbamine have shown activity against Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Salmonella, Shigella and Eschorichia Coli. It has anti-microbial properties that are especially beneficial for the skin and intestinal tract. Barberry has a beneficial effect on the blood pressure by causing a dilatation of the blood vessels. This herb is also good for hepatitis, colic, diabetes and consumption. Historically, Barberry was used as a bitter tonic to stimulate digestion, and in the treatment of inflammatory arthritic, sciatica, and rheumatic complaints. Use of this botanical decreases heart rate, depresses the breathing, stimulates intestinal movement, reduces bronchial constriction, and kills bacteria on the skin. External applications have included use for sores, burns, ulcers, acne, itch, tetters, ringworm, cuts, bruises. Berberine is highly bactericidal, amoeboidal and trypanocidal. Bitter tonic, cholagogue, hepatic, laxative, antibilious, anti-emetic.

Its main Properties are Anti-emetic, Antiseptic, Astringent, Bitter, Cholagogue, Hepatic, Laxative, Purgative, Refrigerant, Stomachic, and Tonic.

Barberry acts on the gallbladder to improve bile flow and ameliorate conditions such as gallbladder pain, gallstones, and jaundice.  Barberry’s strongly antiseptic property is of value in cases of amebic dysentery, cholera and other similar gastrointestinal infections.  Barberry is one of the mildest and best liver tonics known, good for jaundice, hepatitis and diabetes.
The berberine in barberry has remarkable infection-fighting properties.  Studies around the world show it kills microorganisms that cause wound infections (Staphylococci, Streptococci), diarrhea (Salmonella, Shigella), dysentery (Endamoeba histolytica), cholera (Vibrio cholerae), giardiasis Giardia lamblia), urinary tract infections (Escherichia coli) and vaginal yeast infections (Candida albicans).  Berberine may also fight infection by stimulating the immune system.  Studies show that it activates the macrophages, white blood cells that devour harmful microorganisms.  In Germany, a berberine preparation, Ophthiole, is used to treat sensitive eyes, inflamed lids, and pinkeye (conjunctivitis).  Barberry contains chemicals that may help reduce elevated blood pressure by enlarging blood vessels.
The bark is astringent, antidiarrheal, and healing to the intestinal wall—in short, barberry has a strong, highly beneficial effect on the digestive system as a whole.  It helps in the treatment of chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The decoction makes a gentle and effective wash for the eyes, although it must be diluted sufficiently before use.  Liquid of the chewed root was placed on injuries and on wounds, while cuts and bruises were washed with a root decoction.  A preparation of the bark or berries will be useful as a gargle for sore mouth and chronic opthalmia.    It has been successfully used to treat Leishmaniasis (infections transmitted by sandflies).  It has the ability to reduce an enlarged spleen and acts against malaria.

Main Uses: Barberry is mainly used today as a tonic to improve the flow of bile in such conditions as gallbladder pain, gallstones and jaundice. Barberry tinctures are used as a treatment for liver problems such as hepatitis and jaundice. It is also considered effective in lowering blood pressure, reducing heart rate and respiration, reducing bronchial constriction, and for menstrual irregularities.
Berberine has strong anti-microbial and fungicidal properties. It is also astringent and anti-inflammatory. It is said to make a good eyewash. Inflamed eyelids or conjunctivitis can benefit from the application of a compress.
Barberry is one of the best remedies for correcting liver function and promoting the flow of bile. It is indicated when there is an inflammation of the gall bladder or in the presence of gallstones. Barberry is also used when jaundice occurs due to a congested state of the liver.
Barberry tea is used as a gargle to soothe sore throats.

Preparation And Dosages:
Tincture: [1:5, 50% alcohol] 3 to 7 drops, 3 to 4 times a day.

Decoction: Use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon root bark with 1 cup water. Boil briefly, then steep for 5 minutes. Take 1/2 to 1 cup during the day, a mouthful at a time.
Ointment: An ointment made from a 10% extract of Barberry can be applied to the skin three times a day.

Combinations: In gall-bladder diseases Barberry combines well with Fringe Tree Bark and Culver’s Root.

Caution! Avoid during pregnancy; Barberry may stimulate the uterus. In high doses, it can cause nausea, vomiting, convulsions, drop in blood pressure, and lowered heart rate and breathing. If you suffer from heart disease or chronic respiratory problems, do not take large doses of this herb and use only with the approval of your physician.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.midwestherbs.com/bulk_herbs/barberrybark.htm

http://www.indianspringherbs.com/Barberry.htm

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berberis_vulgaris

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Leucoderma or Vitiligo

Leucoderma also known as vitiligo ,is a distressing skin condition. The word literally means white skin. There is a gradual loss of pigment melanin from the skin layer which results in white patches. These patches look ugly, especially in persons with a dark complexion. The condition does not cause any organic harm….click & see

It is a pigmentation disorder in which melanocytes in the skin – tissues that line the inside of the mouth, nose, the genital areas, the rectal areas (mucous membranes) and the retina of the eyes – are destroyed as a result of which white patches of skin appear on different parts of the body.It is a skin condition in which there is loss of pigment from areas of skin resulting in irregular white patches with normal skin texture.

The term Vitiligo is probably derived from the latin word Vitilus – meaning calf and was first used by roman physician Celsus of 1st century AD,The characteristics white patches of disease resembled the white patches of a spotted calf in India. Leukoderma is a generic name for relatively or absolutely lightened in colour.


Causes
, incidence, and risk factors:

The cause of vitiligo is unknown, but autoimmunity may be a factor. This condition affects about 1% of the U.S. population.

As per Ayurveda the main causes of leucoderma are said to be excessive mental worry, chronic or acute gastric disorder, and impaired hepatic function such as jaundice, worms or other parasites in the alimentary canal, typhoid, a defective perspiratory mechanism, and burn injuries. Heredity is also a well-recognized causative factors.

Vitiligo appears to be an acquired condition and may appear at any age. There is an increased incidence in some families. Vitiligo is more noticeable in darker skinned people because of the contrast.

Lesions appear as flat depigmented areas with a darker boarder. The edges are sharply defined but irregular. Frequently affected areas are the face, elbows and knees, hands and feet, and genitalia.

If the white spot is senseless, it could be leprosy .
Symptoms:
The problems usually start with a small white spot, which later develops into patches. These patches are pale in the beginning, but become whiter and whiter as time passes by due to loss of pigment. As the spot enlarge they merge into each other and in course of time form a very broad patch. in some cases most of the skin of the body may be covered by with white patches.

1.Family history of vitiligo. 2.Sudden or gradual onset of flat normally textured areas of skin with complete pigment loss.

Signs and tests:
Examination is usually sufficient to confirm the diagnosis. In some cases, a skin biopsy may be needed to rule out other causes of pigment loss.

Treatment
Vitiligo is difficult to treat. Early treatment options include the following:

Exposure to intense ultraviolet light, such as narrow-band UVB therapy
Oral medications, such as Trisoralen (trimethylpsoralen)
Topical medications
Repigmenting agents such as Oxsoralen (methoxsalen)
Immunosuppressants such as Elidel (pimecrolimus) and Protopic (tacrolimus)
Corticosteroid creams
Skin may be grafted, or removed from normal areas and placed into areas of pigment loss. In the future, skin pigment cells may be grown in the laboratory and used to treat areas of vitiligo.

Ayurvedic Healing Options:

Herbs: 1. Bakuchi 2.Neem 3.Manjistha 4. Haridra or Turmeric

Ayurvedic Supplements : 1. Neem Guard 2.Raktasodhak Bati 3.Somraji Oil

Diet: Constitutional measures should be adopted to cleanse the system of accumulated toxins. To begin with the patient should undertake a fast of juices for about a week. After the juice fast the patient may adopt a restricted diet consisting of fresh fruits, raw or boiled vegetables and whole meal bread and chapattis. Curd and milk may be added to this diet after a few days. The patient may thereafter gradually embark upon a well balanced diet of seeds, nuts ,grains, vegetables, oil ,honey and yeast. Juice fasting may be repeated at intervals of two months or so. The patient should avoid tea ,coffee, alcoholic beverages, all condiments and highly flavored dishes, sugar, white flour products ,denatured cereals like polished rice and pearled barley and tinned or bottled foods.

Lifestyle: During the initial one week juice fast, the bowels should be cleansed daily with luke warm water enema.

Yoga : 1.Basic Breathing (Pranayama) 2.The Headstand (Shirsh Asana) 3.The Knee to Chest (Pawanmuktasan)

Natural Herbal Home Remedy – Leucoderma or White Spot on Skin :
Eat Bathu ka sag daily during the season in form of Roti or Dall-sag and use its juice over spots daily at least 2/3 times. Eat Anjir regularly for a month.
Latest Vitiligo sergery

Homeopathic treatment sometimes works well.

Classical Homeopathic

Home Remedy for Leucoderma

Expectations (prognosis)
The course of vitiligo varies. Some areas may repigment, but other new areas may appear. Depigmentation may be progressive.

Complications:
Depigmented areas are more likely to sunburn or develop certain skin cancers. Vitiligo is associated with three systemic diseases: 1) pernicious anemia, 2) hyperthyroidism, and 3) Addison’s disease.

Calling your health care provider:
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop areas of skin that lose their coloring.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Help taken from:www.healthline.com and Allayurveda.com

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Giloy

Botanical Name: Tinospora Cordifolia , Menisper mum cordifolium, Cocculuc cordifolia
Other Names: Guduchi, Amrita, Giloy , Amrithu, Gulansha
Family: Menispermaceae


Description :

Large, glabrous, deciduous, climbing shrubs. Leaves broadly ovate, cordate, long petiolate. Flowers small, yellow or greenish-yellow, appearing when the plant is leafiless, in axillary and terminal racemes or racemose panicles; male flowers clustered females usually solitary. Parts used : Root, stem, leat. Major Constituents : The dry stem with bark constitutes the drug, which have different reported constituents, such as bitter glycoside Gillian a non glucoside giloinin. Three bitter compounds namely tinosporon acid and tinosporol have been reported.

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. The stems are rather succulent with long filiform fleshy aerial roots form the branches. The bark is gray brown and watery. The leaves are membranous and cordate. The flowers small and greenish yellow. This herb is found throughout tropical India ascending to a height of 300 mts. This herb is found in the in many parts of the north & south India.

Stems – Fleshy
Roots – long thread like, aerial,arise from branches.
Bark – Thin, greyish or creamy white in colour, when peeled fleshy stem is exposed.
Leaves – Cordate (heart shaped), membranous, juicy.
Flowers – Bloom during summer
Male flower – Small, yellow or green coloured occur in clusters.
Female flower – Occur singly.
Fruits – Pea shaped, fleshy, shiny turn red when boiled. Occur in winter
Seeds – curved, pea sized.

Part Used: Stems, Roots

Uses :
This herb is used in seminal weakness and urinary affections. It is also a valuable tonic. Other applications of this herb include: fever, gout, jaundice, torpidity of the liver, skin diseases, secondary syphilis, rheumatism, constipation, tuberculosis, and leprosy. It is a blood purifier and may be useful in AIDS and other immune diseases also. It is also being proposed for cancer patients before and after chemotherapy.

It is an important constituent of several preparations, used in general debility, dyspepsia fever as aphrodisiac in urinary disorders. It is also reported to provide relief in diabetes, piles and dysentery. A part from stem, the decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of gout. The root is also powerful emetic and also used for visceral obstruction.

Healing power and curative properties:
This herb is used in stomach ulcer and urinary affections. The entire plant is regarded as a valuable alterative and stimulant. Tinospora is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a tonic, vitalizer and remedy for diabetes and metabolic disorders. It is also helpful in the treatment of problems that are chronic and cause fatigue, and difficulties with digestion (resulting in poor nutritional status). It has been used to reduce blood glucose level. The plant is used to improve the immune system and body’s resistance against infections. It is used as Immunomodulator in Immunosuppression of obstructive Jaundice, Hepatic fibrosis, Peritonitis and Sepsis. The plant has been found effective in preventing fibrous changes and promotes regeneration of the liver from drug induced hepatic toxicity It is useful in eye conditions, as a tissue builder, helps development of intelligence, and retains youth by helping to prevent premature aging.

Stomach Ulcer:

Giloy use for soothing inflamed and injured mucous membranes in the digestive tract. This herb protect the stomach and duodenum by increasing production of mucin, a substance that protects the lining of these organs against stomach acid and other harmful substances.

Urinary disorder :

This herb is used in urinary affections. The juice of the roots is very much effective in Urinary problems.

Immunity Disorders :
Giloy has been proven to be effective in inhibiting the growth of bacteria and enhancing the buildup of immune resistance. Scientific research is now providing clues to Giloy immune-boosting ability to fight diseases. In a study using human white blood cells, Giloy increased the killing ability of macrophages, the immune cells responsible for fighting invaders.

Mental Disorder :
The whole plant and the juice of the leaves is traditionally used in various mental disorders. This is regarded as one of the best psychotropic drugs in India.

Other uses :
Studies on induced oedema and arthritis and on human arthritis proved anti-inflammatory potency of the water extract of plant. It also has antipyretic action. This drug relaxes the intestinal and uterine smooth muscles. It is proved effective in prevention of fibrosis and in stimulating regeneration in hepatic tissue.

Ayurvedic supplements that contains Giloy : Giloy Satwa

Safety:
No information available. To be taken only under the direct supervision of a qualified professional.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Help taken from:Allayurveda.com,http://presidentofindia.nic.in/herbal.html and http://www.holisticonline.com/Herbal-Med/_Herbs/h150.htm

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