Oregon grape root benefits are numerous and have been known particularly to generations of Native American tribes as a remedy for diarrhea and indigestion. The Oregon grape plant is considered by many herbalists as one of the most outstanding Native American herbal remedies available today.
Oregon grape is an evergreen, flowering shrub that grows up to 3 to 5 feet tall. They can typically be found in the mountainous areas of the American Northwest. Known by its scientific name of mahonia aquifolium, it is the state flower of the state of Oregon in the United States and gets its name from its dusty dark purple fruits that grow in clusters.
The Oregon grape plant is typically used as part of natural landscaping in gardens, usually found in loose hedges.
Oregon grape possesses leaves that are shiny dark green in appearance, akin to that of holly. They are borne from stems and twigs that have a certain corky look. It has small yellowish green flowers. Its dark purple berries have a tart taste and are usually used to make jellies and jams. The juice from these berries is also fermented to make wine, similar to barberries.
The root from the Oregon grape plant has a bright yellow color and is where most of the active constituents are found. It contains the alkaloid berberine, as well as phytochemicals such as columbamine, hydrastine, jatrorrhizine, oxyacanthine, and tetrahydroberberine. It also contains tannins.
To make Oregon grape root tea, simply place about 1 teaspoon of the dried root in 2/3 cup of hot water. Let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes. Discard the roots and drink the infusion. It can be taken three times a day.
Oregon grape root tea is not recommended for use by pregnant women as it may cause uterine contractions.
The following are the health benefits attributed to this brew:
- May help stop dysentery and diarrhea.
- May help strengthen the immune system by helping counter conditions and ailments associated with bacterial infection and viruses.
- May help fight intestinal parasites.
- May have promising prospects in fighting tumors in the bladder and colon.
- May help relieve stomach cramps and abdominal pain.
- When applied topically may help in the treatment of psoriasis, and skin inflammation and itching.
- May help boost blood platelet count.
- May help in the treatment of conditions associated with poor liver function.