Information on Oregon Grape

Latin NameMahonia aquifolium [=Berberis aquifolium]; M. spp.
Other NamesOregon grapeholly
Part UsedRoot
Herb FormsTincture, capsule, bulk herb, powder.
AffectsImmune system, Integumentary system, Liver
CautionsContraindicated during pregnancy. Oregon grape contains berberine which is a cold, bitter constituent that can suppress digestive activity when used to excess, especially in people with weak, cold digestion. Otherwise, it is probably well-tolerated when
Botanical InfoA perennial native plant of the barberry family with stiff prickly leaves, clusters of yellow flowers, and sour bright blue berries.
DescriptionOregon grape is used for liver toxicity from drugs or alcohol; low stomach acid (poor protein assimilation); infections; or irritation in the intestines (irritable bowel syndrome). It cools the liver, stimulates bile flow, reduces intestinal inflammation, and benefits symptoms of dermatitis. It is one of the most effective herbs for skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, or cysts, for which it can be used with burdock seed. Oregon grape root has been recommended for heat in the stomach with such symptoms as tooth and gum pain, inflamed gums, a burning and gnawing feeling in the stomach area, styes, and facial acne. It may also be useful for vaginal yeast infections, especially when the discharge is slightly yellow and strongly-smelling.

Oregon Grape has a taste of BITTER and a temperature of COLD.


Powder1-2 capsules 2-3 x daily
Decoction1 cup 3 x daily
Tincture1-2 droppersful 3 x daily

Ailments Treated by Oregon Grape

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Acneheat removertincture, tea, capsules, tablets
Cholecystitisantibacterialtincture, capsule
Endocarditisclears heattincture, capsule
Liver, stimulantliver stimulanttincture, capsule
Chicken poxheat and toxin clearingtincture, capsule
Scarlet feverheat clearingtincture
Spleen, enlargedliver coolanttincture, tablet, capsule
Pimplesheat removertincture, tea, capsules, tablets


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