This shrub is found throughout most of the U.S.
The BERRIES are a pleasant acidulous fruit, cooling and refreshing as a drink in acute diseases. They are also used in making pies and jams.
The BARK of the stem infused in beer is said to be useful in jaundice. The dose is from 1 to 2 oz. twice daily.
As a corrector of secretions of the liver it is possibly without equal. Its influence upon the liver is such that the bile will flow more freely, making it useful in practically all liver troubles, bilious conditions, and jaundice. Wherever the bile has been absorbed, upsetting the digestion and tinging the skin, use bar- berry. It is useful in fevers, loss of appetite, spleen affections, and will assist in constipation. It expels and removes morbid matter from the stomach and bowels.
It is because of these properties that it was much used by some patent medicine vendors. Many years ago, in New England, a tincture was made by steeping the bark in hard cider. It was made as follows:
Barberry, white poplar, and wild cherry barks, each 4 oz. These were crushed and steeped 1 week in a gallon of cider, strained, and a dose of 1 T. or more taken 3 times daily. This would have quite a tonic effect on the digestive tract and would be useful in biliousness, particularly debilitated cases, and in convalescence.
Because of its antiseptic properties, a decoction of the bark oi berries will make an excellent gargle or mouth-wash.
Barberry may be used in infusion, decoction, tincture, fluid extract, solid extract, pills, capsules, powder, or syrup.
The bark dyes a beautiful yellow.