Berberis aquifolium

Mahonia_aquifolium_flowers2

Image I

Mahonia_aquifolium_plant

Image II

Botanical Name: Berberis aquifolium, Mahonia aquifolium (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
Common name: Oregon grape, Mountain grape, (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
Family: Berberidaceae (Natural Standard, 2013)
Parts used: rhizome, root and bark (Natural Standard, 2013)

 

Constituents

Isoquinoline alkaloids: berberine, hydratine and oxycanthine

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)

 

Actions

  • Cholagogue (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 210; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Alterative/Depurative (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 318; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Laxative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Antiemetic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Anticatarrhal (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Tonic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)

 

Indications (traditional

Native to West Coast of North America, traditionally used by Native Americans for treatment of digestive problems and inflammatory skin conditions (Natural Standard, 2013, p. 564)

 

Indications

  • Chronic skin conditions (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Atopic dermatitis (Natural Standard, 2013; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 318)
  • Psoriasis (Natural Standard, 2013; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Eczema (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Tonic for liver and gallbladder (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Stomach and gallbladder conditions associated with nausea and vomiting (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Wound healing (Natural Standard, 2013).

 

Preparation & Dosage

Tincture (1:5): 1-4mL/tds

Decoction: 1-2tsp of root in 1-cup water, simmer 10-15mins/tds

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)

 

Cautions & Contradictions

  • Berbine constituent may worsen symptoms of jaundice (Natural Standard, 2013)
  • Excessive use is considered toxic, recommended to not exceed 2-3 weeks of oral use (Natural Standard, 2013)
  • To be used with caution in individuals with liver or gallbladder disease (Natural Standard, 2013)
  • Known allergy (Natural Standard, 2013)

 

REFERENCE
Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principals and Practice of Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinborough: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Hoffmann, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal. London: Thorsons

Natural Standard (2013). Natural Standard Professional Monograph: Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium, Berberis aquifolium). Retrieved from: http://www.naturalstandard.com/databases/herbssupplements/mahonia.asp?#

Images: Missouri Plants. (2000). Mahonia aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt. Retrieved from: http://www.missouriplants.com/Yellowalt/Mahonia_aquifolium_page.html

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