While it’s easy to relate Oregon grape to our very own citric grapes, it is in reality a distant cousin of barberry shrub. These ornamental evergreen shrubs of Pacific coast of North America, also popularly known as Oregon grape, have dark green pinnate leaves and racemes of yellow flowers, followed by blue-black berries. Branded for its sheer attractiveness and rapid growth, the Oregon grape has many medicinal and health perks. The usefulness of this efficient shrub has been acknowledged since the Elizabethan times. It is presumed that it was the English settlers who brought the berries with them, when they arrived on the shores of America. The English reportedly named the Oregon grape barberry, as it is still known to natives of the West and Northwest. Oregon grape has been extensively used for culinary purpose, ethno botanical uses, landscaping and other medicinal purpose. To know more about the benefits of this valuable shrub, read on.
Nutrition & Health Benefits of Oregon Grape
- Oregon grape is best acknowledged for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. In fact its extracts have been widely used to deal with host of physical ailments like dysentery, jaundice, peptic ulcers and a variety of skin conditions.
- Berberine, a bright yellow alkaloid found in oregano grape, which accounts for most of its medicinal properties, have been favored by early Eclectic physicians to treat typhoid, early tuberculosis and digestive disorders.
- Oregon grape is found to be extremely beneficial for treating skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, athletes foot, acne and other fungal infections. Oregon grape root helps in easing inflammation, irritation, and itching.
- If taken in small dosages, Oregon grape is known to cure diarrhea, while larger dosages can be used as an effective laxative.
- Oregon grape is known to rev up the flow of bile and hence is the choicest option for herbalists for treating gallbladder pain, gallstones, hepatitis and jaundice. It has also been extensively used to treat hemorrhoids, kidney disease, urinary tract disorders, gout, rheumatism, arthritis, lumbago and malaria.
- Oregon grape is held as a potential anti-carcinogenic, due to its alkaloids and podophyllins properties. In China, studies show that Oregon grape root speeds recovery from chemotherapy and radiation therapies.
- Oregon grape root tea has anti-bacterial agents and is known to be extremely effective against diseases such as giardia (beaver fever), candida (yeast infection), viral diarrhea and even cholera.
- Oregon grape root is preferred by herbalists as an option for goldenseal, which is a similar but over-harvested plant. Oregon grape is known for its digestive system-strengthening properties. It is reputed to get rid of intestinal worms too.
- Oregon grape root is known to work effectively against many symptoms of ‘damp heat’, like abdominal fullness and distention, odorous loose stools, feeling of heaviness, buts of nausea, low appetite, sticky, thick, and yellow or green mucous discharges, watery, oozing skin eruptions, and more
- Oregon grape is widely regarded as a wonderful antibiotic and is used as a lymphatic and liver stimulating blood cleanser. It helps to release stacked away iron from the liver into the blood stream.
- For those suffering from diarrhea, Oregon grape should be best avoided, as it may impede with the intestinal ability to absorb doxycycline or tetracycline. Also pregnant & breast-feeding women should refrain from consuming Oregon grape.
- Studies have proved that Oregon grape contains berberine that is known to create uterine contractions and shoot the level of bilirubin in human body. It might also worsen jaundice in infants.