Both the root bark and the ripe berries of barberry can be used. The root bark, made into a tea, is a complete cleanser for the whole digestive tract. The ripe berries, when chewed, can help to stop gum loss. Barberry tends to dilate arteries which can lower blood pressure. It also encourages the secretion of bile, so important to the digestive process. Barberry is a popular garden shrub and like many shrubs can be kept trimmed and short or allowed to grow to 8 feet. It is well armed with needle like thorns. Barberry contains berberine, an alkaloid with many benefits. A little bit goes a long way; too much and you can purge your bowels rather than encourage a good bowel movement.
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