Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is an herb whose root has been used medicinally for centuries. It’s native to North America and has long been used by indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest for both food and medicine. The tart berries (not grapes) were mixed with sweeter berries and eaten raw. The bark and root were made into a tea for indigestion and other complaints.
Oregon grape’s main active constituent is the potent alkaloid berberine, which is found only in the root and bark. Berberine is also a component of other famous herbs, including barberry (Berberis vulgaris), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), and Chinese goldthread (Coptis chinensis).
Berberine has been used medicinally for thousands of years in traditional medical systems like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. It’s been widely studied and has been shown to be helpful for several health complaints.
Berberine and other constituents in Oregon grape may:
- Support liver health and detoxification
- Support healthy digestion and elimination
- Reduce symptoms of allergies
- Support the immune response to pathogens
- Support a balanced microbiome
- Improve skin conditions
- Stabilize blood sugar
In addition, it has been shown to help combat sweet and carbohydrate cravings, improve digestion and absorption, lower the histamine response, reduce inflammation, and more.
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Remember, the Swiss watch of the body’s systems is a delicate balance! For more information, to test your systemic functions, and to discover possible triggers, contact a Wellness Way clinic. We can help you understand how your body is functioning and the best ways to support it!