Barberry (Berberis vulgaris)is an herb which is not often discussed. Like goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) it also contains berberine which herbalists use for its antibacterial properities and to help support the immune system. The study belows indicates barberry has antioxidant activity which suggest its use would be beneficial for the support of the immune system.
Antioxidant activities of the ethanolic extracts of roots, twigs and leaves of common barberry (Berberis vulgaris L.) and Croatian barberry (Berberis croatica Horvat) were studied. All the extracts were found to possess some radical-scavenging and antioxidant activities, as determined by scavenging effect on the DPPH free radical, reducing power and beta-carotene-linoleic acid model system. With the exception of the beta-carotene-linoleic acid test, antioxidant activity correlated well with the content of main plant antioxidants, phenols and flavonols, which suggests an important role of these compounds in overall antioxidant activity of investigated plant organs. The antioxidant activity varied mostly in relation to the organ, while no significant statistically differences were found between B. vulgaris and B. croatica.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Aug-Sep;48(8-9):2176-80. Epub 2010 May 17.