Barberry, also sometimes spelled berberry, has been used in Asia, Europe, India, and the Mediterranean for over 2500 years to treat a wide variety of health issues ranging from digestive disorders, diarrhea, plague, heart issues, and liver disorders. Used externally, it helps treat psoriasis and skin irritations.
Barberry is also highly effective at lowering blood sugar levels, making it an herb of choice for diabetics.
Don’t confuse barberry (Berberis vulgaris/Fu Niu) with bayberry (Myrica cerifera/Yang Mei)!
They are two entirely different plants and while they both contain the powerfully healing compound berberine, famous for its antibacterial, antioxidant, and cardiotonic properties, barberry contains far more berberine than bayberry does. In fact, barberry contains the highest levels of berberine than any other plant with this compound. Yet it remains very gentle to use.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, barberry is known for Restoring the Liver, Tonifying the Spleen, Removing Stagnation, and Clearing Toxins.
Bayberry, on the other hand, is used to support the immune system, connective tissue function, and the respiratory system.
Two plants with similar names, a shared compound, yet key differences and applications.
Find out more about Barberry (Fu Niu).