Monday, November 29, 2021

History of barberry

Berberis vulgaris is a thorny herb belonging to the family Berberidaceae found in different parts of the world.

The name 'berbery' seems to have been first applied to this fruit by Averroes (an Arabic writer on medicines) is not only a food, a food additive, a herb but also a homeopathic remedy for countless illness.

For many centuries people liked to have the barberry growing in their yards and garden and fields. When they moved, they took seeds or young bushes with them to their new homes.

In those days doctors used parts of the barberry in making medicine. Chinese medicine has records of such use dating back over 3,000 years. In Iran, Rhazes was the first one to introduce the medicinal properties of B. vulgaris and considered its use to be helpful for human being.

Indian ayurvedic physicians used barberry in the treatment of dysentery and traditional Iranian medicine uses the fruit as a sedative.

Barberry was brought to the United States with European settlers in the 1600’s. It was a popular plant for its use as a hedge, producing fruits that were made into jam, and a yellow pigment that was used as a dye.

Barberry became unpopular with farmers when it was discovered to be a host plant for the wheat rust fungus that decimated crops in the 19th century.
History of barberry