Daruharidra, Berberis aristata

Description of plant

Berberis aristata is erect, evergreen shrub with height of 3.5mt. It is woody plant with yellow to brown bark from outside and with dark yellow bark inside. The bark is fully covered with three branched thorns, which are modified leaves in tufts of 5-8 and are simple with pinnate venation. Upper surface of leaves are dark green and lower surface of leaves are light green. Leaves of this plant are toothed, simple, sessile, and leathery in texture and are arranged radically. Flowers are stalked, yellow, complete and hermaphrodite. Flowers appear in the month of April-May. This plant is self-fertile and are pollinated by small insects. Fruits are ovoid and covered with bloom as in plum and color is aconite violet. Fruits of this herb are juicy rich in nutrients and contain plenty of sugar. Seeds are 2-5 in number and vary in color from yellow to pink.

General information

This herb is called Indian barberry or tree turmeric and it belongs to family Berberidaceae. It is used in ayurvedic medicine system from long times. Fruit of this plant is edible and rich source of vitamin C. The root bark of this herb is rich in berberine and isoquinoline alkaloids. Both chemical compounds are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-viral, ant-diabetic, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory in nature.

Dr. Vikram Chauhan with Berberis aristata (Daruhaldi)

Whole plant is very good source of dye and it used for dyeing clothes, cotton and leathers. Roots of this herb is used in the preparations of alcoholic drinks.

Special note about Berberis aristata

Rasaunt - A special prepration from this plant is called rasaunt. To prepare rasaunt root bark and lower part of stem is boiled in water. The amount of water used to prepare rasaunt is sixteen times more than roots of daruhaldi. Then solution is stained and evaporated till water remains 1/4th. Again the extract obtained is cooked till the semi-solid mass is obtained. This mass obtained is then mixed with butter, lime juice or opium juice and it is used as mild purgative and cures various ailments.

Habitat

Daruharidra is herb native to Himalayas in India. It is also widely distributed in wet zone of Sri Lanka. This species of evergreen deciduous shrub is also found in temperate and sub-tropical regions of Asia, Europe and America. It is also distributed in Bhutan and hilly areas of Nepal. It is also found in Himachal Pradesh especially in Kumaon and Chamba region. This herb is widely distributed in Nilgris hills in south India.

Classification

  • Kingdom – Plantae
  • Order – Ranunculales
  • Family – Berberidaceae

Names

  • English name – Indian beriberi
  • Hindi name – Daru haldi
  • Tamil name – Mara manjal
  • Bengali name – Daruharidra
  • Punjabi name – Daru haldi
  • Marathi name – Daruhalad
  • Gujarati name – Daru haldar
  • Telugu name – Kasturipushpa
  • Farsi name – Darchoba
  • Kannada name – Bagisutra
  • Malayalam name – Maramannal, Maramanjal
  • Oriya name – Daruharidra, Daruhaldi
  • Punjabi name – Sumalu
  • Urdu name – Darhald

Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Kashaya, Tikta Taste Astringent, Bitter
Guna Laghu, Ruksha Physical Property Light, Dry
Virya Ushna Potency Hot
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent

Effects On Doshas

It balances Pitta and Kapha doshas.

Charak Samhita Sushrut Samhita and vagbhatta
  • Arshoghna - Herbs used in haemorroids.
  • Lekhaniya – Herbs used in scraping and reducing cholesterol levels.
  • Kandughna - Herbs used in various skin disorders.
Haridradi, Lakshadi, Mustadi Gana

Ancient verse about Berberis aristata

Ancient verse about Berberis aristata

Darvi, daruharidra, prajneya, prajeni, kantakteri, peeta, pachampa, kaleyak, peetadru, haridru, peetdaru and peetak all are synonyms of daruharidra. All the properties of this herb are similar to curcuma longa but this herb is used to cure eye, ear and throat related disorders.

Practical uses of Berberis aristata

  • Paste of this herb is used externally to reduce pain and inflammation and best use of this herb is in eye related disorders.
  • It is also used for quick healing of wounds and paste of this herb is also useful in syphilis ulcers and anal fistula.
  • It helps to cure spasmodic pain and it is very beneficial for patients of menorrhagia and leucorrhoea.
  • Roots of daruharidra are hepato protective in nature and fight against liver toxicity. It gives wonderful results in the sufferers of jaundice.
  • It is also anti-diabetic in nature. Root powder of this herb triggers the extra formation of insulin and protect body from harmful effects of diabetes.
  • It is very effective herb with anticancer properties which fights against human colon cancer.
  • This herb fights against the various infections caused by microbes in both males and females. In females it is used to cure uterine infections.
  • It is also used in ear aches and ear discharge. It is also used for constipation and piles.
  • This herb helps to stimulate sweating and it is used in intermittent fever. It is much effective herb in malaria than other herbs.
  • Fruit of this herb is appetizer, helps to stimulate digestive fire and it is very effective in patients of dysentery.
  • Paste of this herb is applied over eyelids to reduce conjunctivitis.
  • Decoction of this herb is used in the form of gargles in throat infections and to improve voice.

Ayurvedic products from Berberis aristata

Part used

  • Fruit extract
  • Fruit
  • Stem

Dosage

  • Decoction – 50-100ml
  • Fruit powder – 3-5gm
  • Fruit extract – 3gm
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