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Berberis Vulgaris






Common Name:-  Barberry.


Medicinal Part:- Bark and berries.


Description:- Barberry is an erect deciduous shrub, from three to eight feet high, with leaves of an obovate-oval form, terminataed by soft bristles, about two inches long, and one-third as wide.  The flowers are small and yellow in clusters, and the fruit bright-red oblong berries, in branches, and very acid.


This shrub is found in the New England states, on the mountains of Pennylvania and Virginia, among rocks and hard gravelly soil.  Occasionally it is found in the West on rich grounds.  It flowers in April and May, and ripens its fruit in June.  Its active principle is berberine.


Properties and uses:  It has been used by the herbologists as tonic and laxative. The berries form an agreeable acidulous draught, useful as a  refrigerant ; the bark of the root is the most active ; a teaspoonful of the powder will act as a purgative.  A decoction of the bark or berries will be found of service as a mouth was or gargle.


Homeopathically it is one of the excellent remedy for the following ailments:-


Urinary disorders - Renal colic/kidney stones or Gall-stones- Rheumatic and


other locomotor disorders- polyneuropathy


Constitutional taint:- Tuberculous.  "Phthisical condition."


Action: This remedy affects particularly the lumbar region; kidneys; uterus. The patient is sometimes unable to tell the exact locality, but the pain is somewhere in the back, and shoots up the back; or into the spermatic cord, or testes, bladder, buttocks, or legs. The pain may shoot up or down, or both ways. Pains all over the body, emanating from the region of the back; sticking, pinching, pricking lancinating or jerking character, flying about, now here and now there. There is often a bubbling sensation in the region of the kidneys; this sensation may occur elsewhere, but it is usually found here.


Typical subjects: Persons of bilious diathesis.  Gouty and rheumatic patients. Old gouty constitutions. Persons who are mentally and physically fatigued.  "Prematurely old and


wrinkled men and women."  Acts well in fleshy pesons, good livers, but with little endurance." Cases where renal and vesical symptoms are prominent.


Notes and features:- 1. Bruised pain, with numbness, stiffness and lameness in region of kidneys< in bed in the morning.


2.Soreness in the regionl of the kidneys; bubbling sensation, < stepping or jarring motion.


Typical pains:  Berberis is all pains. Everything expresses itself in pain, particularly pains in lumbar region, kidney, ureter, bladder, urethra, spermatic cords. Pains wander and fly about from place to place; appear and disappear and as they appear they cause the patient to "scowl and make a sharp noise. Pains shoot up and down or both ways. They fly at no particular direction. Then there are radiating pains, that is to say, they raidate from one point. . Rheumatism or pains, like gouty pains in the joints; the pains raidate from a centre.


Characteristic peculiarities: Rapid change of symptoms -pains change in regard to place and character, so that we have thirst alternating with thirstlessness, hunger with loss of appetite," etc.  Bubbling sensatin or bubbling stitches. Paralytic weakness in some parts.  Great lassitude, increased by walking, or by remaining long in a standing posture.  Sinking after the slightest effort. Heels pain as if ulcerated on standing.  Cold sensation in various parts, as if spattered with cold water.


Side affinity: Renal colic, worse left side. Painful shootings in left side of chest.


Mind:-Indifferent, calm, apaathetic. Intectual Labours prove fatiguing, es. In morning. Mind weak, forgetful.


Head:- Listless, apathetic, indifferent. Puffy sensation, feeling as if becoming larger. Vertigo with attacks of fainting. Frontal headache. Chilliness in back and occiput. Tearing pain in auricle, and gouty concretions.Sensation of a tight cap pressing upon the whole scalp.This symptom is not always described like a cap on the head. It is convertible into numbness of the scalp; many patients describe a sensation of numbness in the scalp as if they had on a cap. Sometimes the patients will deny that it is a sensation of numbness and say it is just a cap.  At one time Dr. Kent says, "I fully believed the "cap" belonged to two sensations.  If it was painful I placed it under "pressure".If it was not painful it was supposed to belong to "numbness", but I have now made a new rubric "the sensation of skull cap," which I think is entirely distinctive, from  numbness; but they both have to be compare.


Nose:- Dry; obstinate catarrh of left nostril. Crawling in nostrils.


Face:/Appearance: Face "usually expressive of deep-seataed diseases.". Small pustules in the lips. Great paleness of face, dirty grey complexion, with hollow cheeks and sunken eyes, surrounded by a bluish or dark grey circle. Aspect, one of the great and prolonged dejection.


Eyes:-Gouty conditions of eyes with stitching, tearing pains, twinging pains, shooting pains . Shooting off in various directions.

As already described above, there is one grand feature about Berberis that it has no particular direction; it has all directions. Most remedies have pains taking a direction from one part to the other; pains going from the eye to the temple, etc. but in Berberis, it cannot be said the pain go to any place in particular


Mouth :-Sticky sensation. Diminished saliva. Sticky, frothy saliva, like cotton (Nux Moschata). Tongue feels scalded, vesicles on tongue.


Stomach:- Nausea before breakfast. Heartburn.


Abdomen:- Stitches in region of gall-bladder; worse, pressure, extending to stomach. Catarrh of the gall-bladder with constipation and yellow complexion. Stitching pain in front of kidneys extending to liver, spleen, stomach, groins, Poupart's ligament. Sticking deep in ilium.

Gall stone Colic: These pains with jaundice. The liver seems to slow down in its actions; and the patients becomes jaundiced. Sharp pains in the liver which come suddenly and with great severity. Violent stabbing pain in the region of the liver-taking his breath away. Had to bend double. These pains last a moment and pas away. In gall stone colic pains are spasmodic, increase in intensity and diminish, but do not let up entirely. Berberis when it is indicated, will let the little gall stone loose; and it will pass through, and the patient will take a long breath and wish he had sent for the doctor sooner. Anything that is spasmodic can be relieved instantly.

Stool:- Constant urging to stool. Diarrhoa painless, clay-colored, burning, and smarting in anus and perineum. Tearing around anus.. Fistula in ano-Burning pain during after the stools.

Urinary  (I) kidneys:  Burning and  Soreness  in the lumbar region in the region of the kidneys- one or both on account of which he can bear no pressure. BUBBLING SENSATION,in the region of the kidneys< STEPPING OR JARRING MOTION.He cannot step down from a carriage to the pavement without letting himself down very carefully.  A jar is a great shock to him and sometimes the soreness is so great that he almost faints. Soreness in the back --in the muscles of the back, and in the region



of the kidneys; and this associated with all sorts of disturbances in the urine, with excessive deposites.  And then the formation of little calculi in the pelvis of the kedne, little stones like pinheads and everyh now and then one of them takes a start down the ureter to the blader and , oh, how he suffers.

2.Urinary:- Then it is tht the pains in the kidneys radiate in every direction. Pain run up into the kedneys and down into the baldder. The bladder becomes irritable. Catarrhal conditions of the bladder. Smarting burning stitching pains.Pain in the bladder region. Pain in the thighs and loins on urinating. Frequent urination. Urethra buirns when not urinating. Urine withthick mucus and bright red


Male:- Neuralgia of spermatic cord and testicles. Smarting, burning, stitching in testicles, in prepuce and scrotum. Burning pains in the genital area.Enlargement of the prostrate gland which causes a constnt pressure in the perineum. Pressure as if there were a lump or as if something was pressing down.


Female:- Berberis fits a woman who is tired, with a goutyh constitution; though not old in years she is physically tired; so tht all of her domestic affairs fret and tire her. Coition becomes painful and she has an aversion to it. The orgasm is delayed or is entirely absent and she is prostrated by it. In all the affairs of her innermot life she is a drudge. Full of twinging pains in all of her nervds. Burning in the female urethra. Burning pain in the vagina. A lack of sensation normal to these parts in the woman. Menses scanty, gray mucus, with pain in kidneys and chilliness, pain down thighs. Leucorrhoa, grayish mucus, with painful urinary symptoms. Neuralgia of ovaries and vagina.


Respirataory:- Hoarseness; polypus of larynx. Tearing stitches in chest and region of heart.


Back:-Stitches in neck and back; worse, respiration. Sticking pain in region of kidneys radiating thence around abdomen, to hips and groins. Numb, bruised sensation. Stitches from kidneys into bladder. Tearing, sticking with stiffness, making rising difficult, involving hips, nates, limbs, with numbness. Lumbago (Rhus Tox, Tar.em) Metatarsus and metacarpus feel sprained. Post-operative pain in lumbar region; soreness with sharp pain following course of circumflex iliac nerve to bladder with frequent urination.


Extremities:- Rheumatic paralytic pain in shoulders, arms, hands and fingers, legs and feet. Neuralgia under finger nails, with swelling of finger-joints. Sensation of cold on outside of thighs. Heels pain, as if ulcerated. Stitching between metatarsal bones as from a nail when standing. Pain in balls of feet on stepping. Intense weariness and lameness of legs after walking a short distance.{Rheumatic and gouty disorders,with diseases of the urinary organs).


Skin:- Flat warts. Itching, burning and smarting; worse,  scratching, better, cold applications. Small pustules over whole body. Eczema of   anus  and  hands. Circumscribed pigmentation-  following eczematous inflammation.


Fever:-Cold sensation in various parts, as if spattered with cold water.[Cannabis Sativa has characteristic sensations as of dropping of water-especialy on or from the head, the anux, stomach,  heart region] Warmth in lower part of back, hips, and thighs.

Modalities: Worse: motion,standing Waling or riding in a vehicle; sudden jarring movement-. It brings on, or increases, urinary complaints.

Better: With rest.


Relations: Similar to Cantharis, Lycopodium Clavatum, Sarsaparilla and Tabacum in renal colic. Acts well after Arnica Montana, Bryonia alba, kalium Bich, Rhus tox and Sulphur in rheumatic affections.


SUMMARY OF INDICATIONS:- Urinary disorders - Renal  colic/kidney

stones or Gall-stones- Rheumatic     and    other    locomotor  disorders- polyneuropathy


Dose:-Tincture, to sixth potency.



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