August, 2015

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Barberries are a Superfood

Naturally dried barberries are a superfood Bursting with citrus. Traditionally consumed for their medicinal properties, barberries are renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties, aiding with digestion. Rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants, fibre and protein, Barberries are a wonderful addition to your mueslis, smoothies, yoghurts, trail mixes and ancient grain salads.

Barberrys Superfood

Barberry Bush – Photo by: Arnstein Rønning

Berberis vulgaris (European barberry) is a shrub in the family Berberidaceae, native to central and southern Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia.

Medicinal use of barberry dates back more than 2,500 years. It has been used in Indian folk medicine to treat diarrhea, reduce fever, improve appetite, relieve upset stomach, and promote vigor, as well as a sense of well being. Today, it is widely used for medicinal purposes in Iran, including for biliary disorders (such as gallbladder disease) and heartburn.

Barberry is still often used for medicinal purposes because it contains the chemical berberine.

Berberine has been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria in test tubes, and may help the immune system function better. The aqueous extract of barberry has beneficial effects on both the cardiovascular and neural system. As such, it may be useful in the treatment of hypertension, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), and some neuronal disorders, such as epilepsy and convulsions. Recent studies suggest that barberry’s antioxidant properties, may help prevent certain types of cancer.