(NaturalNews) The onset of more and more bacteria-caused illnesses has prompted experts to make use of other means other than synthetic drugs to cure people. The Oregon grape is one of the herbs that have become quite a star among herbalists, especially since it is claimed to have anti-bacterial properties. Experts are already trying to harness the extract coming from the Oregon grape root in order to check that it really has anti-bacterial properties that will help cure those who have various bacterial problems.
What is Oregon grape root?
Despite having a "grape" in its name, the Oregon grape root (Berberis aquifolium) is not related to the grape family. This is a native plant that grows in rain forests located in the Pacific Northwest. This is a shrub that bears bright yellow flowers during springtime and easily spreads from one place to another through rhizomes, or underground stems. The tree then produces berries that are deep purple in color and the dark green leaves turn purple, bronze, or crimson during the fall season.
But what makes the Oregon grape root a lot more popular nowadays is that it is more readily available than goldenseal, another plant that is well-known for its anti-bacterial properties. Goldenseal is one of the wild flowers in the United States that is heavily harvested, which is why it is now considered as an endangered plant. Experts have been recommending some alternatives instead of goldenseal and one of those is Oregon grape root. Based on the ancient uses of Oregon grape, it has been used similarly to goldenseal.
Benefits of Oregon grape
It has been seen that Oregon grape has the ability to treat skin conditions that are chronic, such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis. The plant contains a lot of isoquinoline alkaloids, which are beneficial for the skin, especially the one called berberine.
Oregon grape has been used to treat flu, cold, and other infections. In lab studies, Oregon grape root has been found to be able to suppress or kill disease-causing microbes, such as E. coli, Candida as well as other fungi, Vibrio cholera, and a lot more. Berberine, which is abundant in the plant, can inhibit the ability of bacteria to stick to the cells in the human body, which is effective for preventing infections. Oregon grape root is also good for those who suffer from problems in the digestive tract. Berberine is also said to be helpful for the bone marrow and helps people undergoing chemotherapy to recover faster.
How to make tea using Oregon grape root
Oregon grape is known to be bitter because of the alkaloids present, including berberine. To make tea, people could simmer about one to two teaspoons of coarsely chopped, dried Oregon grape root in a cup of water for 10-15 minutes. The leftover root can either be strained or eaten, depending on preference, and take the liquid before eating. To make the tea more palatable, you could mix cinnamon, orange peels, licorice, or other roots and barks that could add flavor. It is recommended for a person to drink three to six cups of tea a day at the onset of an illness or infection. The number could be reduced when the infection improves.
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