Berberis aristata common name, medicinal uses and side effects

Berberis aristata also known as Daruharidra or the Indian Barberry is a thick, thorny, medicinal plant, which grows between 2 metres and 3 metres in height. In this article, we will talk about Berberis aristata benefits and medicinal uses.

The genus has 450 – 500 species of woody deciduous evergreen shrubs. This woody plant has dark brown to yellow bark on the outside of the stem, and the insides are greenish to yellow color.

Dorsal surface of leaves is dark green while the ventral surface is a lighter shade. The simple leaves have pinnate venation and have a leathery texture.

Berberis aristata plant

The flowers are polysepalous with 3 large and 3 small sepals with 12.5 mm size. The flowers are arranged in a racemose inflorescence. They begin to flower in mid-March and continue throughout April.

Each raceme has 11 – 16 flowers on the central stem. The hermaphroditic flower has a gynaecium (female organ for reproduction) that is 4-5 mm long and a polyandrous androecium (male organ for reproduction) that is 5-6 mm in size. It has 6 stamens.

The gynaecium has a broad stigma and a short style. From the mid-May, the fruits begin to ripen. This will continue through until the end of June. The edible berries are succulent and acidic and have medicinal value.

Berberis aristata flowers and leaves
Flowers and leaves

People who have Berberis aristata tree in their neighborhood, use the fruits as a dessert. The fruits have plenty of sugar and are very juicy.

By grinding the roots and fermenting it, one may prepare an alcoholic drink from Daruharidra. Testing aqueous extracts of the root on animals proved that the Berberis aristata has anti-malarial property.

Other commercial applications of the plant include its use as a dye. The tannins and dye got by crushing the plants are used for dyeing clothes and leather. Testing has shown that the root extracts shows good dyeing quality on cotton fabrics.

Berberis aristata fruits

Rasaut preparation: Many medicinal applications require the Rasaut of Berberis aristata for complete efficacy. To prepare the rasaut, the outer bark of the roots and the lower portion of the stem of the Indian Barberry plant are used.

We put the plant parts in water and boil it. Then, we strain it and continue heating the mixture until we get a semi-solid mass. One uses this with alum and butter or with opium and lime juice.

Also Read: Berberis vulgaris medicinal uses

Common names

The common name for this evergreen shrub is Tree Turmeric. It is also known as  Indian Barberry.

Botanical name and family

Its botanical name is Berberis aristata. It belongs to the family Berberidaceae and genus Berberis.

Geological areas where Berberis aristata plants grow

This shrub is found in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of Europe, Asia, and America. It is native to the Himalayan regions of Nepal and India. In Sri Lanka, you can find Indian Barberry on the wet slopes of the hills. One may also find it in the Nilgiri hill range of South India.

Indian Barberry root

Berberis aristata benefits and medicinal uses

The benefits of Berberis aristata resemble that of turmeric because they have similar quality. Here is the list of the medicinal uses of Indian Barberry:

Also read: Turmeric health benefits for complete body

1. To treat piles at home, use the rasaut in 40 parts of water (dilute it forty times) and use this water to wash your affected parts. You can also consume the rasaut mixed in butter. This will help get rid of duodenal ulcer and ulcerative colitis.

2. For patients who suffer from persistent fevers, make the decoction with Indian Barberry, Basil leaves, and Giloy. Boil it in water and drink the decoction two times a day.

3. If you suffer from jaundice, add honey to the rasaut. Drink one cup a day.

4. You can get rid of skin diseases and wounds of the skin by applying a paste of Berberis aristata leaves.

5. To cure eye problems, mix rasaut with ghee and alum. Apply this mix on top of the eyelids and under the eye.

6. You can cure the stomach ailments in children by mixing the Daruharidra in honey and giving it to them. You can use the decoction as a general tonic for debility.

7. The berberine contained in the root bark shows antioxidant properties along with antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It may also have antitumor characteristics.

8. The decoctions in water finds use to give relief for those suffering from throat infections. Just gargling with the decoction will help improve the voice significantly.

9. For people with painful urination, the rasaut is mixed in 1 cup of water. Amla powder is added. Drink this, and you get relief.

10. It gives good help to the immune system and helps you deal with allergies and intolerance. Many of the allergies in the body happen due to an overactive immune system that develops the allergy when subjected to some food for some time. Some people have an allergy to milk while others have an allergy to wheat.

11. It purifies the blood. You must have Daruharidra and rasanjana in combined form. This helps people who go through the second stage of syphilis.

12. It provides relief from phlegm for those who suffer from cold. You can address the problem of obesity when you use it as an adjunct.

13. Reduce uterine inflammations effectively using the rasaut as a paste on the vagina. It has lactodepurant properties. You can cure anorexia with calculated doses of the rasaut mixed with water.


We cannot determine the exact potency of the rasaut we prepare. In addition, different people need varying doses of medicine. For this reason, one must not rely upon or use very strong potions for any treatment.

It is advisable to take the advice of an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner to get all Berberis aristata benefits. After you have learned the dosages and strength, you can proceed to make your own rasaut and use them for the treatment.

One must beware of taking Daruharidra in high dose as this could lead to vomiting and excessive sweating.

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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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