shopping Barberry root bark - two varieties
Barberry root bark, c/s, wild crafted image
[ 447 ]Berberis vulgaris

Barberry Root Bark Cut & Sifted, Wild Crafted

1/4 Pound:  $5.85 Pound:  $13.01 
Barberry root bark, powder, wild crafted image
[ 1454 ]Berberis vulgaris

Barberry Root Bark Powder, Wild Crafted

1/4 Pound:  $5.35 Pound:  $11.89 
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Wholesale Barberry root bark

Berberis vulgaris
plant overview
barberry, sugar plum stuffing

Common barberry is a popular ornamental landscaping shrub that is original to Europe, where the fruit was once made into jam and traditional sugar plums. The root of the bush yields a yellow dye used to color wool and leather. Barberry root bark is used to make barberry root bark tea and infusions, and barberry root bark powder is used to make topical compounds.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.

Barberry bark: A Bit of Botany

a little botanical information about barberry

Barberry is a small and bushy deciduous evergreen shrub belonging to the Berberidaceae family growing up to 4 m high. The leaves are small oval, 2–5 cm long and 1–2 cm broad, with a serrated margin; they are borne in clusters of 2-5 together, subtended by a three-branched spine 3–8 mm long. The flowers are yellow, 4–6 mm across, produced on 3–6 cm long panicles in late spring. The fruit is an oblong red berry 7–10 mm long and 3–5 mm broad, ripening in late summer or autumn; they are edible but very sour, and rich in Vitamin C.

common names
& nomenclature

Carl Linnaeus gave barberries their generic name Berberis after a North African nomad tribe. He thought these plants originated from Africa.

However, the 11th century monk Constantinus Africanus (Constantine the African) had already used the name Berberis in his own book on plants. However, in his case the name probably derived from the word ‘barbarian’.

Other sources say the name derives from the Berber word meaning 'shell', and indeed that the plant's name is related to that of the Barbary coast.

Also known as:
barberry, mountain grape, kingor, daruhaldi, daruharidra, berberis, european barberry, jaundice berry, pepperidge bush, sowberry, sow berry, and berberis dumetorum

Barberry, the European ornamental landscaping shrub

Barberry bark: Where in the World

habitat and range for barberry

Barberry is native to central and southern Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia; it is also naturalized in northern Europe, including the British Isles and Scandinavia, and North America. Although not naturalized there, in rural New Zealand it has been widely cultivated as a hedge on farms. It is cultivated for its fruits, primarily in Iran.

Barberry bark: Cultivation & Harvesting

considerations for growing and harvesting barberry

Dry sunny grasslands, savannas, thickets, but also humid dense woodlands or forests.

Plants prefer sandy, loose-textured soils or deep loam soil, but can adapt to other soil conditions.

Barberry seeds germinate best when shallowly buried in shaded areas where alternating temperatures exceed 50 °F (10 °C). In general, common barberry is described as germinating "readily" and producing vigorous seedlings. Germination of seeds contained in intact fruits may be delayed compared to seeds without fleshy fruits.

In field plots in southern Iowa, bare seeds generally germinated in the 1st year, while seeds in fruits germinated in the 2nd year. Germination occurred throughout the growing season. Plants can also be propagated by layering or rhizome cuttings.

The thorny shrubs make harvesting difficult, so in most places, they are not widely consumed.

The berries are preserved in sugar, in syrup, or candied, also occasionally pickled in vinegar.

Leaves and bark can be dried and stored in a cool, dry place.

Except for its fruits and seeds, the plant is mildly poisonous.

Barberry bark: The Rest of the Story

Formulas & Recipes

Barberry root bark tea.

Used in Europe as a bitter tonic, it is also used in tea blends. Barberry also blends well with black, green and white teas.
  • Add barberry to teapot
  • Pour boiling water over barberry
  • Cover and steep for 20 minutes.
  • Sweeten with honey to taste.

Barberry root bark health benefits

Most present-day herbalists limit their recommendations to gargling barberry decoction for sore throat and drinking it for diarrhea and constipation. The berberine in barberry has a remarkable infection fighting properties. Studies around the world show it kills microorganisms that cause wound infections, diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, giardiasis, and urinary tract infections.

Berberine may also fight infection by stimulating the immune system. Studies show that it activates the macrophages, white blood cells that devour harmful microorganisms.

Barberry's traditional use in treating eye problems is alive and well in Germany, where a berberine preparation, Ophthiole, is used to treat sensitive eyes, inflamed lids, and pink eye (conjunctivitis). However this product is not available in the United States.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised:  Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.

All reviews solely reflect the views and opinions expressed by the reviewer and not that of Monterey Bay Herb Co. We do not verify or endorse any claims made by any reviewer. None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.