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.
Overview InformationOregon grape is a plant. The bark, root, and root-like stem (rhizome) are used to make medicine.
Oregon grape is used for scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis), eczema (atopic dermatitis), stomach problems, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
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
- Scaly, itchy skin (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 medication calcipotriene (Dovonex) cream for some people.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis). 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.
- Stomach ulcers.
- Stomach upset.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyWhen taken by mouth: Oregon grape is LIKELY SAFE when taken in the amounts found in foods. There isn't enough reliable information to know if Oregon grape is safe to use in medicinal amounts or what the side effects might be.
When applied to the skin: 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.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to use Oregon grape if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. One of the chemicals in Oregon grape, berberine, may cross the placenta and might cause harm to the fetus. It can also be transferred to the infant through breast milk. Brain damage (kernicterus) has been reported in newborn infants exposed to berberine.
Children: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to give Oregon grape to infants. 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. There isn't enough reliable information to know if Oregon grape is safe to give to older children. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Diabetes: Oregon grape can lower blood sugar. Oregon grape may cause blood sugar to become too low in people who are also taking antidiabetes medications. Use with caution.
Low blood pressure: Oregon grape can lower blood pressure. Oregon grape might increase the risk of blood pressure becoming too low in people who already have low blood pressure. Use with caution.
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.
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. 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:
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
- For scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis): A specific 10% Oregon grape bark extract cream (Relieva, Apolla Pharmaceutical) is applied to affected areas 2-3 times daily.
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- Wiesenauer M., Ludtke R. Mahonia aquifolium in patients with psoriasis vulgaris - an intraindividual study. 1996;3:231-235.
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- Yin, J., Gao, Z., Liu, D., Liu, Z., and Ye, J. Berberine improves glucose metabolism through induction of glycolysis. Am J Physiol Endocrinol.Metab 2008;294(1):E148-E156. View abstract.
- Yin, J., Xing, H., and Ye, J. Efficacy of berberine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism 2008;57(5):712-717. View abstract.
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- Zhou, J. Y., Zhou, S. W., Zhang, K. B., Tang, J. L., Guang, L. X., Ying, Y., Xu, Y., Zhang, L., and Li, D. D. Chronic effects of berberine on blood, liver glucolipid metabolism and liver PPARs expression in diabetic hyperlipidemic rats. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008;31(6):1169-1176. View abstract.
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