Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is an evergreen shrub that can be found throughout northwest America. The name can be misleading as the fruit is not actually grapes however, it can be found growing in Oregon. The rhizome and root are used in medicinal formulas. The early European colonists used Oregon grape for all manners of complaints and needs.
Oregon Grape contains isoquinoline alkaloid constituents including berberine, berbamine, and oxyacanthine. Berberine and oxyacanthine have shown antibacterial activity. However, berberine has demonstrated much more actions. Berberine has anticonvulsant, sedative, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, and respiratory-stimulant effects. Traditionally, Oregon grape has also been used for stomach problems, heartburn, ulcers, and infections. It may act as a appetite-stimulant as well.
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Cautions There have been no reported side effects associated with Oregon grape.