The Healing Power of Oregon Grape Root
Unless you are an herbalist, or live in the Pacific Northwest where it is grown, you may not be familiar with oregon grape root. It is closely related to the barberry plant which grows in various regions around the world. Oregon Grape Root has been used for hundreds of years by Native Americans indigenous to the Pacific Northwest. They used it for many different conditions including bacterial infections and skin ailments.
Oregon Grape Root contains an alkaloid (a bitter tasting plant chemical which is either medicinal or toxic), called “berberine”. Berberine is highly regarded in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for treating insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low bone density, immune system and intestinal problems.
Oregon Grape’s Antibiotic Properties
Because oregon grape root contains berberine it may also be effective in conditions that require antibiotics. An often deadly staph infection called MRSA, which is usually picked up in hospitals, is antibiotic resistant. Berberine is being recognized and studied in the medical community for its ability to help decrease bacterial resistance to antibiotics. In other words, if a person is taking an antibiotic and is not responding to the drug, adding an herb that contains the alkaloid berberine, may help the antibiotic work.
The berberine in oregon grape root inhibits the ability of bacteria to attach to human cells which helps prevent infections. It is particularly effective in the throat, intestines and urinary tract areas. The work that berberine does with the cells also enhance the immune system.
Oregon grape root is also anti-fungal and anti-parasitical. It works well on chronic candida and helps with certain parasitical invasions. This herb is also useful for digestive disturbances such as heartburn, and is used to treat diarrhea. Oregon grape root may be one of the best herbs you’ve never heard of. If you have any of the above conditions, it may be worth trying.