Oregon grape is an evergreen herb native to western North America, from British Columbia to northern California.
It is a low growing shrub with yellow flowers, purple berries, and leathery leaves that resemble holly. Native Americans traditionally used Oregon grape to treat digestive problems and inflammatory skin conditions. Human studies show that it may be an effective treatment for atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.
It makes for an excellent replacement for the endangered and expensive Goldenseal.
Latin Name: Mahonia aquifolium, Berberis aquifolium
Family: Berberidaceae (Barberry Family)
Parts Used: Root (dried), root bark, rhizome (dried), leaf (rarely)
Energetics: bitter, cold, dry
Actions: Alterative, antiseptic, antitumor, bitter tonic, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, laxative, liver tonic, siliagogue, thyroid stimulant