Posted by Bangzkie Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The dried fruit of berberis vulgaris, generally simply known as Barberry, is used as a herbal medicine. The active ingredients in barberries are thought to be the isoquinolone alkaloids, especially berberine (also found, in higher concentrations, in the traditional Chinese medicine herb Coptis chinensis).
The berries are edible, and rich in vitamin C, with a very sharp flavour. The thorny shrubs make harvesting them difficult. Berries are often used in Middle Eastern and European rice pilaf recipes. They are an important food for many small birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings. A widely available Ukrainian, Russian, Estonian and Lithuanian candy called Барбарис (Barbaris) is made using extract from the berries, which are commonly pictured on the candy wrappers. Confiture d'épinette was a traditional sweet of Rouen.