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Red Barberry

Red Barberry or Zereshk

Barberry is a group of evergreen shrubs that are popular not only for medicinal purposes but for landscaping as well. Many species of barberry have spines or thorns as well as distinctive oblong, bright-red fruit.

The well-known species of barberry is Berberis vulgaris, which is also called European barberry, though it is also common in central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, in particular the Iranian variety which is of outstanding quality.

Barberry is a prickly shrub that is 1 to 5 meters long. Its wood is red, brown or yellow. Its leaves are oval and its fruit is oval red and sour.

Health benefits

Barberry has been used in traditional herbal medicine for thousands of years. They contain several beneficial compounds, most notably berberine, which acts as an antioxidant and may help manage conditions like diabetes, fight dental infections, and treat acne.

Barberries are highly nutritious. They are rich in carbs, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals.

In particular, the berries are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that may help protect against cellular damage, which can lead to heart disease and cancer.


Iranian Cuisine and Culture

Barberries are widely used in Iranian cuisine. Black barberries are an important ingredient for a stew from Kermanshah province (mid-west of Iran) which is called “Khoresht-E Khalal Badam” (Persian Almond stew). These gorgeous crimson jewels are not only a key ingredient in many Iranian dishes such as Tahchin (Persian saffron and rice cake) but are also consumed as a popular Persian drink (Ab Zereshk-Barberry juice) due to its tangy taste and health benefits.

In addition, barberries contain zinc, manganese, and copper, all of which are trace minerals that play significant roles in immunity and disease prevention.

The bright red color of the berries comes from anthocyanins, which are plant pigments that may boost your brain and heart health, among other benefits.

Berberine is a member of the alkaloid family, a group of compounds known for their therapeutic effects.

Studies have shown that it acts as a powerful antioxidant, combating cell damage caused by reactive molecules called free radicals.

Barberry is also presented via supplements in capsule, liquid extract, tincture, and topical ointment form (barberry ointments are used to treat skin conditions like psoriasis). It is also a key ingredient in many herbal teas.



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