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Botanical Name : Berberis aristata
Common name: Chitra
Other Common Names: Darlahad [H], Hint Amberparisi [E], Indian Lycium [E], Nepal Barberry [H], Ophthalmic Barberry [H] (From various places around the Web, may not be 100% correct.) Barberry, Nepal
Vernacular Name: Sans; Daruharidra; Hind: Darhald; Eng : Indian barberry
Synonyms: Berberis coriaria (Lindl.), Berberis chitria (Hort.)
Darunisha, Peeta, Daruharidra, Darvi, Peetadru, Peetachandana, Hemakanti, Kashta Rajani, Peetaka, Peetahva, Hemakanta,Hemavarnavati, – All these synonyms explain about turmeric-like yellow coloured stem.
Katankati, Katankateri, Parjanya, Pachampacha, Kusumbhaka,
Habitat :E. Asia – Himalayas in Nepal.(Shrubberies to 3500 metres)Woodland, Dappled Shade, Shady Edge.
Daruharidra is an evergreen erect spiny shrub, ranging between 2 and 3 meters in height. It is a woody plant, with bark that appears yellow to brown from the outside and deep yellow from the inside. The bark is covered with three-branched thorns, which are modified leaves, and can be removed by hand in longitudinal strips. The leaves are arranged in tufts of 5-8 and are approximately 4.9 centimeters long and 1.8 centimeters broad. The leaves are deep green on the dorsal surface and light green on the ventral surface. The leaves are simple with pinnate venation. The leaves are leathery in texture and are toothed, with several to many small indentations along the margin of the leaf.
It is a woody plant, with bark that appears yellow to brown from the outside and deep yellow from the inside. The bark is covered with three-branched thorns, which are modified leaves, and can be removed by hand in longitudinal strips. The leaves are arranged in tufts of 5-8 and are approximately 4.9 centimeters long and 1.8 centimeters broad. The leaves are deep green on the dorsal surface and light green on the ventral surface. The leaves are simple with pinnate venation. The leaves are leathery in texture and are toothed, with several to many small indentations along the margin of the leaf.
The flowering season begins in mid-March and lasts throughout the month of April. The yellow flowers that develop are complete and hermaphroditic. The average diameter of a fully opened flower is 12.5 millimeters. The flowers form a racemose inflorescence, with 11 to 16 flowers per raceme, arranged along a central stem. The flower is polysepalous, with 3 large and 3 small sepals, and polypetalous, with 6 petals in total. The male reproductive structure, the androecium, is polyandrous and contains 6 stamens, 5 to 6 millimeters long. There is one female reproductive structure, the gynoecium, which is 4 to 5 millimeters long and is composed of a short style and a broad stigma. The plant produces bunches of succulent, acidic, edible berries that are bright red in color and have medicinal properties. The fruits start ripening from the second week of May and continue to do so throughout June. The berries are approximately 7 millimeters long, 4 millimeters in diameter and weigh about 227 milligrams.
Cultivation : Prefers a warm moist loamy soil and light shade but it is by no means fastidious, succeeding in thin, dry and shallow soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil. Plants are very hardy, they survived the severe winters of 1986-1987 without problems in most areas of Britain.
Plants can be pruned back quite severely and resprout well from the base. The fruits are sometimes sold in local markets in India. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Most plants cultivated under this name are B. chitria., B. coriaria., B. glaucocarpa. and, more commonly, B. floribunda.
Propagation: Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in late winter or early spring. Seed from over-ripe fruit will take longer to germinate. Stored seed may require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first winter. Once they are at least 20cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so be careful not to overwater them and keep them well ventilated.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very difficult, if not impossible. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, preferably with a heel, October/November in a frame . Very difficult, if not impossible.
Edible Uses: Fruit – raw or cooked. A well-flavoured fruit, it has a sweet taste with a blend of acid, though there is a slight bitterness caused by the seeds. The fruit is much liked by children. It is dried and used like raisins in India. The fruit contains about 2.3% protein, 12% sugars, 2% ash, 0.6% tannin, 0.4% pectin. There is 4.6mg vitamin C per 100ml of juice.The fruit is about 7mm x 4mm – it can be up to 10mm long. Plants in the wild yield about 650g of fruit in 4 pickings.
Flower buds – added to sauces.
Composition: Fruit (Fresh weight) :In grammes per 100g weight of food:Protein: 2.3 Carbohydrate: 12 Ash: 2
The dried stem, root bark and wood are alterative, antiperiodic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, laxative, ophthalmic and tonic (bitter). An infusion is used in the treatment of malaria, eye complaints, skin diseases, menorrhagia, diarrhoea and jaundice.
Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Berberis species, has marked antibacterial effects. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery]. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity.
As per Ayurveda:
It is tikta, katu, ushnaveerya; applied in the treatment of septic wounds and polyuria, pruritus, erysipelas and diseases of skin, eye and ear; antidotal
Therapeutic uses: Paste of root-bark finds external application for healing ulcers. Extract prepared from root-bark is used as a local application in affected parts of the eyelids and in chronic ophthalmia.The tincture of the root is used against intermittent fever and considered to be advantageous over quinine and cinchona since it does not produce deafness or cardiac depression.
The decoction is particularly useful in the enlargement of liver and spleen associated with malarial fever. It is also used for fever accompanied by diarrhoea. Root combined with opium, rocksalt and alum is considered to be an useful anti-inflammatory agent.
In bleeding piles, application of powdered root mixed with butter is beneficial. “Rasauf’ of the rootprepared withis found useful in stomatitis and leucorrhoea.
Decoction of stem mixed with that of curcuma longa is recommended in’gonorrhoea.
Bark juice is useful in jaundice.
Fruits are edible and prescribed as a mild laxative for children.
Other Uses:A yellow dye is obtained from the root and the stem. An important source of dyestuff and tannin, it is perhaps one of the best tannin dyes available in India. The wood is used as a fuel.
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.
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