Generic name: barberry [ bar-beh-ree ]
Drug class: Herbal products
Pregnancy & Lactation: Risk data not available
What is Barberry?
Barberry is an herb, also called Agracejo, Berberidis, Berbéris, Berberis, Berberitze, Berberry, Berbis, Épine-Vinette, Espino Cambrón, Jaundice Berry, Mountain Grape, Oregon Grape, Pipperidge, Piprage, Sauerdorn, Sow Berry, Vinettier, and other names. The fruit, bark, and roots of the barberry plant are used to make an herbal medicine.
Barberry has been used in alternative medicine as an aid in treating dental plaque (tartar), swollen gums (gingivitis), kidney or bladder problems, stomach cramps, bowel problems, gout, arthritis, circulation problems, and other conditions. However, the use of barberry in these conditions has not been proven with research to be effective.
Barberry is likely to be safe when consumed as a food. But the safety of using barberry as a medicine has not been proven with research.
It is not certain whether barberry is effective in treating any medical condition. Medicinal use of this product has not been approved by the FDA. Barberry should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.
Barberry is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.
Barberry may also be used for purposes not listed in this product guide.
Follow all directions on the product label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
How should I take Barberry
When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.
If you choose to use barberry, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.
Do not use different forms (tablets, liquid, tincture, teas, etc) of barberry at the same time without medical advice. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose.
Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with barberry does not improve, or if it gets worse while using this product.
Barberry can affect blood-clotting and may increase your risk of bleeding. If you need surgery, dental work, or a medical procedure, stop taking barberry at least 2 weeks ahead of time.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
You should not use this product if you are allergic to barberry, or if you are also taking cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune).
Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to take barberry if you have:
a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia;
low blood pressure; or
diabetes (barberry can lower your blood sugar).
Do not use barberry if you are pregnant. Barberry may cause brain damage in a newborn if the mother takes this product during pregnancy. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking barberry.
Barberry can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed while using this product.
Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice. Barberry may not be safe to give to an infant. This product contains a substance that could cause brain damage in a newborn baby, especially in a premature baby with jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
What happens if I miss a dose?
Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra barberry to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using Barberry?
Avoid taking barberry with a cold medicine that contains an antihistamine (such as chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, or doxylamine).
Avoid using barberry together with other herbal health supplements that can:
affect blood-clotting--angelica (dong quai), capsicum, clove, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, horse chestnut, panax ginseng, poplar, red clover, turmeric, and willow;
lower your blood pressure--casein peptides, cat's claw, coenzyme Q-10, fish oil, L-arginine, lycium, stinging nettle, and others;
lower your blood sugar--alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, devil's claw, fenugreek, garlic, guar gum, horse chestnut, Panax ginseng, psyllium, Siberian ginseng, and others; or
cause drowsiness--5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), California poppy, catnip, chamomile, gotu kola, Jamaican dogwood, kava, melatonin, St. John's wort, skullcap (or scullcap), valerian, yerba mansa, and others.