Barberry, Berberis aquifolium, Berberis nervosa, Berberis repens, Berberis sonnei, Blue Barberry, Creeping Barberry, Holly Barberry, Holly-Leaved Berberis, Holly Mahonia, Mahonia, Mahonia aquifolium, Mahonia diversifolia, Mahonia Faux Houx, Mahonia à Feuilles de Houx, Mahonia nervosa, Mahonia repens, Mahonie, Mountain-Grape, Oregon Barberry, Oregon-Grape, Oregon Grape-Holly, Scraperoot, Trailing Mahonia, Uva de Oregon, Vigne de l’Oregon, Water-Holly.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

Oregon grape is a plant. The root and root-like stem (rhizome) are used to make medicine.

Oregon grape is used for stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach upset, as a bitter tonic, to treat infections, and to cleanse the bowels.

Oregon grape is applied to the skin for a skin disorder called psoriasis and as a disinfectant.

How does it work?

The chemicals in Oregon grape might help fight bacterial and fungal infections. Oregon grape may also slow the overproduction of skin cells in diseases such as psoriasis.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Psoriasis. Some evidence suggests that applying a specific 10% Oregon grape extract cream (Relieva by Apollo Pharmaceutical) can reduce the severity of psoriasis and improve quality of life for people who have psoriasis. It might be as effective as the medicationcalcipotriene (Dovonex) cream for some people.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Itchy and inflamed skin (eczema). Early research suggests that applying a specific Oregon grape extract cream (Relieva by Apolla Pharmaceutical) for 12 weeks might improve the severity and area of itchy and inflamed skin in people with a skin condition called eczema. However, other research shows that topical application of a cream containing Oregon grape, heart’s ease, and gotu kola extracts does not improve eczema.
  • Stomach ulcers.
  • Heartburn.
  • Stomach upset.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Oregon grape for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Oregon grape cream is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when applied directly to the skin. It can cause some side effects such as itching, burning, irritation, and allergic reactions.

There is not enough information to know if Oregon grape is safe when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s LIKELY UNSAFE to use Oregon grape if you are pregnant. One of the chemicals in Oregon grape, berberine, may cross the placenta and might cause harm to the fetus. Brain damage (kernicterus) has been reported in newborn infants exposed to berberine. Berberine can also be transferred to the infant through breast milk. It’s also LIKELY UNSAFE to use Oregon grape if you are breast-feeding due to the berberine in Oregon grape.

Children: It’s LIKELY UNSAFE to give Oregon grape to children, especially newborns. The berberine in Oregon grape can cause brain damage (kernicterus) in newborns, particularly premature newborns who have jaundice. Jaundice is a condition in which there is yellowing of the eyes and skin caused by bile pigments in the blood. It can happen in newborns who have a different blood type than their mother.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) interacts with OREGON GRAPE

    The body breaks down cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) to get rid of it. Oregon grape might decrease how fast the body breaks down cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune). This might cause there to be too much cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) in the body and potentially cause side effects.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with OREGON GRAPE

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.<br><nb>Oregon grape might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking Oregon grape along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking Oregon grape, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.<br><nb>Some medications changed by the liver include cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), lovastatin (Mevacor), clarithromycin (Biaxin), indinavir (Crixivan), sildenafil (Viagra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.



The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For psoriasis: A specific 10% Oregon grape bark extract cream (Relieva, Apolla Pharmaceutical) is applied to affected areas 2-3 times daily.

View References


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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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