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Not a grape, but a powdery purplish-black colored blue berry that clusters like grape, with shiny holly-like leaves and clusters of bright yellow bell-shaped edible flowers. Edible berries are quite tart with large seeds. The roots have the strongest medicinal strength. Contains alkaloid berberine, which is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial to treat infections. Has a direct action on the skin when applied topically. Good for gums. Over 80% effective in relieving psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, dandruff, acne and dry scaly skin. Alkaloids extracted from the root and bark have strong anti-microbial, anti-tumor and antifungal properties, and are potent antioxidants which neutralize skin damaging free radicals. Also used for prostate, blood cleanser, kidney, liver, gallbladder, diuretic, laxative. Do not take while pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not take with licorice which cancels-out the berberine effectiveness. Inner bark and roots bright yellow and used as yellow dye. Flowers used to make lemonade-type drink.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz