Daruharidra, Indian Barberry (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. The flowers appear in 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. The 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.
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.
Whole plant is very good source of dye and is used for dyeing clothes, cotton and leathers. Roots of this herb is used in the preparation of alcoholic drinks.
Special note about Berberis aristata
Rasaunt - A special preparation 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.
Daruharidra herb is 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. Daruharidra is also found in Himachal Pradesh especially in Kumaon and Chamba region. This herb is widely distributed in Nilgiris hills in South India.
- Kingdom – Plantae
- Order – Ranunculales
- Family – Berberidaceae
- 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
|Hindi / Sanskrit||English|
|Rasa||Kashaya, Tikta||Taste||Astringent, Bitter|
|Guna||Laghu, Ruksha||Physical Property||Light, Dry|
|Vipaka||Katu||Metabolic Property (After Digestion)||Pungent|
Effects on Doshas
It balances Pitta and Kapha doshas.
|Charak Samhita||Sushrut Samhita and vagbhatta|
||Haridradi, Lakshadi, Mustadi Gana|
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. 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.
- Daruharidra helps to cure spasmodic pain and 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 result in jaundice patients.
- 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.
- Daruharidra 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.
- This herb helps to stimulate sweating and is used in intermittent fever. It is much effective herb in malaria than any other herbs.
- Fruit of this herb is appetizer, helps to stimulate digestive fire and is beneficial in patients of dysentery.
- It is also used for constipation and piles.
- Paste of this herb is applied over eyelids to reduce conjunctivitis.
- Decoction of Daruharidra is used in the form of gargles in throat infections and to improve voice.
Ayurvedic products from Berberis aristata
- Fruit extract
- Decoction – 50-100ml
- Fruit powder – 3-5gm
- Fruit extract – 3gm