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Barberry

Scarlet berries

Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) is a deciduous shrub that occurs in large parts of Europe. In the Alps, barberry climbs up to 2500 metres above sea level. Basically, the plant is poisonous except for its berries. The scarlet berries, up to one centimetre long, are edible but very sour. However, they can be eaten in dried form as an alternative to sultanas or made into jam

Healing properties

Both the berries and the root bark can be used for medicinal purposes. However, the healing effects of the different parts of the plant differ greatly. One could almost think that they are two different medicinal plants. The fruits contain vitamin C and the substances typical of fruits, such as fruit acids. The root bark mainly contains alkaloids (e.g. berberin) and tannic acid