Mountain Rose Herbs

Barberries

Also known as

Zereshk, Berberry, Holy Thorn, Sowberry.

Introduction

This dried, bright red berry comes from a species of berberis. Berberis vulgaris (the species carried by Mountain Rose Herbs) is widely used in Afghan and Persian cooking. Barberry shrubs are deciduous and can grow to approximately 8 feet tall. Small, clustered bright-yellow flowers are followed by small purplish berries that turn red when ripe.

Constituents

High citric acid content, high in vitamin C. Also contains the alkaloid berberine.

Parts Used

Dried berry.

Typical Preparations

As a jelly, pickled, or in traditional Persian and Afghan rice and chicken dishes (called zereshk polo).

Summary

The barberry is thought to have originated in North Africa, Europe and temperate regions of Asia. In North America, it is sometimes used as a decorative plant, and the root and bark is used medicinally. The berries are widely cultivated in Iran. Today, barberries do not tend to be widely popular, except in Middle Eastern cooking.

Precautions

None known.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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