Herb latin name: Berberis chitria


Synonyms: Berberis aristata


Family: Berberidaceae (Barberry Family)



Medicinal use of Berberis chitria:

The juice of the bark is used to treat peptic ulcers. It is also boiled then filtered and used as eyedrops to treat various eye inflammations. Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Berberis species, has marked antibacterial effects. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Shrub

Height:
4 m
(13 feet)

Flovering:
June
to July

Habitat of the herb:

1800 - 2700 metres in the Himalayas. Mainly in moist places at elevations of 2000 - 3000 metres in Nepal.

Edible parts of Berberis chitria:

Fruit - raw or cooked. The roasted seeds are pickled.

Other uses of the herb:

A yellow dye is obtained from the roots and stems.

Propagation of Berberis chitria:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, when it should germinate in late winter or early spring. Seed from over-ripe fruit will take longer to germinate, whilst stored seed may require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so should be kept well ventilated. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame. If growth is sufficient, it can be possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the autumn, but generally it is best to leave them in the cold frame for the winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, preferably with a heel, October/November in a frame.

Cultivation of the herb:

1800 - 2700 metres in the Himalayas. Mainly in moist places at elevations of 2000 - 3000 metres in Nepal.

Known hazards of Berberis chitria:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.