Berberis vulgaris L.

Berberis vulgaris L.

Botanical Name:          Berberis vulgaris Berberis vulgaris L.L.

Kingdom:                      Plantae

Order:                           Ranuncuales

Family:                         Berbideaceae

Genus:                          Berberis

Local Name:                  Rasaut, Zereshk

Sindhi Name:               Beari, Behdana

Part Used:                     Fruit

English Name:              European berry, Common berry


Berberis vulgaris deciduous shrub. Leaves are small andoval.Margins are segregated, in clusters of 2 or 5 together, and subtended by a branched spine. Flowers are yellow,4-6 mm,and grow in spring. Fruit, a berry,is long, broad, sour taste,edible,and rich in Vitamin C1.


B. vulgaris is native to Europe, Africa, and western Asia1, but naturalized in northern Europe, British Isles, Scandinavia, Canada, and NorthAmerica2.

Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases


  1. Berberis vulgaris L. (European barberry)leaves are socked in water,2 teaspoon of this water is taken orally for the treatment of ringworm in DistrictsBadinand Thatta(Sindh).
  2. Ground leaves of B. vulgaris with water to make paste; this paste is applied on affected area for the treatment of in DistrictKambar-Shahdadkot (Sindh). This paste is also applied twice a day for the treatment of alopecia and abscess in District Khairpur (Sindh).


Ground leaves ofB. vulgaris and Lawsonia inermis L. (Henna)to make paste and applied on scalp for the treatment of Alopecia in DistrictJacobabad(Sindh).


  1. Leaves of B. vulgarisare soaked overnight and ground in the morning to make paste. It is applied twice a day for a weekon affected area for the treatment of scabies in DistrictMirpurkhas (Sindh).
  2. Leaves of B. vulgaris and Azadirachta indica (Neem) are boiled in water andsieved. This water is used for the treatment of scabies in DistrictGhotki (sindh).


  1. Leaves of B. vulgaris and Withania coagulans (Vegetable rennet) are soaked overnight and sieved in the morning. This water is taken orally empty stomach for the treatment of pyoderma in District Matiari (Sindh).
  2. Ground leaves of B. vulgaris are mixed with butter to make a thick paste and applied topically for the treatment of Pyoderma for eight days in District Matiari(Sindh).
  3. B. vulgaris, Cassia fistula (golden shower) seeds, Terminalia chebula Retz. (Chebulic Myrobalan), Myristica fragrans (Nutmeg)andWithaniacoagulans (Vegetable rennet) is soaked overnight and boiled in the morning it is then sieved to obtain an extract. One teaspoon of this extract is taken orally daily till the recoveryfrom Pyoderma in DistrictNaushehroferoz(sindh).
  4. B. vulgaris leaves are blended andsautéed in Brassica compestris (Mustard) oil to make paste. This paste is applied on the affected area for the treatment of Pyoderma in the DistrictTando Muhammad Khan(Sindh).
  5. B. vulgaris leaves are soaked in warm water overnight and sieved. This water is taken orally early in the morning for the treatment of Pyoderma in the DistrictTando Muhammad Khan (Sindh).


One teaspoonof B. vulgaris leaves’paste is taken orally daily till recovery for the treatment of Measles in DistrictsSajawaland Dadu (Sindh).


Crude extracts of B. vulgarisindicated the presence of alkaloids, tannins, and phenolic compounds.Berberamine,berberine,Lupeol,oxyberberine, oleanolicacid,columbamine, isocorydine, lambertine, magniflorine,cannabisin G,and bisbenzlisoquinolines were reported from this plant3.

Chemical Structure:

B. vulgaris final st

Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/Scientific Studies

Decoction of leaves is used against scurvy angina, sore throat, and dysentery3. Berries decoction is used against fever. Roots decoction is used for tanning skin and injuries4. Decoction of dried root bark is used against hepatitis. Fruit is recommended in painful menstruation. Decoction of dried root bark and stem is used externally against rheumatoid arthritis. Dried fruit is used as tonic, gargle, and has cooling effect. Dried root is used as diuretic and inflammation of kidney5.

B. vulgarishas been reported for antihistaminic, anticholinergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive3, hypotensive, antiarrhythmic, antiplatelet, antihyperglycemic, antiosteoporosis,immuno-stimulating, anti-HIV, and anxiolytic activities5.


  1. Italiana A. F.Crespino comune, Sowberry, Common Barberry, vinettier, espino cambrón, Sauerdorn, Berberis vulgaris includes photos, drawings, and European distribution map. Flora of North America vol 3.
  2. Illustations of Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany.
  3. Mokhber-Dezfuli, N., Saeidnia, S., Gohari, A. R., &Kurepaz-Mahmoodabadi, M. (2014). Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Berberis Species. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 8(15), 8–15.
  4. Srivastava, S., Srivastava, M., Misra, A., Pandey, G., and Rawat, A. K. S. (2015). A review on biological and chemical diversity in Berberis (Berberidaceae). EXCLI journal, 14, 247.
  5. Imanshahidi, M., and Hosseinzadeh, H. (2008). Pharmacological and therapeutic effects of Berberis vulgaris and its active constituent, berberine. Phytotherapy research, 22(8), 999-1012.