Barberry Fruit ~ Dried barberries used in Persian cooking

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Barberry Fruit ~ Albalu

Plant family:

Berberis vulgaris - the family Berberidaceae

Qualities:

The Barberry bush produces large crops of edible berries, rich in vitamin C, but with a sharp acid flavour.

barbarries

Origins:

The Berberry bush is a part of a large family of deciduous, evergreen shrubs found throughout the temperate and subtropical regions of the world, apart from Australia.

Species diversity is greatest in South America, Africa and Asia; Europe has a few species, and North America has only two. The most well-known Berberis species is the so-called European barberry, Berberis vulgaris, which is common in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia.

Properties and Applications:

For many centuries Europeans used the berries for culinary purposes in ways comparable to how a citrus peel might be used. The country in which they are used the most frequently today is Iran.

The dried fruit of Berberis vulgaris is used in herbal medicine.The active ingredients are thought to be the isoquinolone alkaloids, especially berberine.

As a traditional medicine or dietary supplement, berberine has shown some activity against fungal infections, Candida albicans, yeast, parasites, and bacterial/viral infections. Berberine is also considered antibiotic.

Berberine is a component of some eye drop formulations. There is evidence indicating it's beneficial in treating trachoma. As stands, berberine has been a standard treatment for leishmaniasis.