DARUHARIDRA (Berberine) : A Health promoter

DARUHARIDRA (Berberine) : A Health promoter

Scientific name : Berberis aristata

Family : Berberidaceae

Part used : Root , Bark, Fruit, stem

Also called as Indian barberry or Tree Turmeric, Berberine is well renowned for its juicy, sour berries that are used in smoothies and drinks as well as eaten raw as a refreshing fruit, which are a rich source of Vitamin C. It is a long-used medicinal plant, which is extremely important in bringing relief for serious conditions, such as- renal problems, liver troubles, stomach anomalies, and skin disorders.


A spinescent, erect shrub with glabrous leaves, Berberine can reach upto two to three meters in length. The plant’s bark is brownish-yellow on the outside and yellowish on the inside. The large, oval, deep green leaves have spiny teeth. The fruits of Daruharidra are ovoid berries, but the flowers are yellow and hermaphrodite. Each fruit contains two to five seeds, which range from yellow to pink in colour. The fruit’s luscious interior contrasts with the aconite violet hue of its exterior. The fruit has a pulpy texture and a sweet-acid flavour. Due to its rarity and rising demand, it is an endangered endemic medicinal plant species that has recently assumed a dominating role in society. 


Darunisha, Darvi, Peeta, Peetaka, Peetahva, Peetadru, Peetachandana, Kashta Rajani- Possessing turmeric- like yellow stem
Katankateri, Kantakini - Leaves having spinatous margin
Parjanya, Prajani – Fruits visible in rainy season
Pachampacha – Improves liver function
Vishodhini - Works as a purifier
Kusumbhala  -  Flowers utilised in making a yellow dye
Krimihara - Possessing anti-helmintic properties


Ayurvedic properties of Daruharidra:

Rasa (Taste) : Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter)
Guna (Qualities) : Laghu (Light) and Ruksha (dry)
Virya (Potency) : Ushna (hot potency)
Vipaka (Post digestion taste) : Katu (pungent)
Effect on Dosha and Dhatu: pacifies pitta and kapha dosha

Bio-active components :

The plant includes several significant phytochemicals including proto-berberine, isoquinoline, bisbenzyl-isoquinoline, and other bioactive constituents like flavonoids and phenolic acids. Other flavonoids like quercetin, e-caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, meratin, and rutin.

 Classical categorization:

Acharya Charak has categorised Berberis under following category:
Arshoghna (used to improve piles), Lekhaniya (extra fat reducing quality) and Kandughna (relives itching).

Ayurvedic health benefits and indications :

Rasayani (rejuvenates the whole body)
Deepana (enhances stomach fire)
Pachana (helps in digestion)
Balya (improves muscle strength)
Hikkanigrahana (controls hiccups)
Sangrahini (controls diarrhoea)
Kamala (prevents jaundice)
Jvarahar (useful in fever)
Krimihara (relieves intestinal worms)
Panduhar (beneficial in anaemia)
Rochana (stimulates appetite)
Amahara (prevent indigestion)
Pramehahar (manages diabetes)
Shonitasthapana (prevents bleeding)
Kustha (helps in skin disorders)
Varnya (improves complexion)

Other Benefits:

Anti-bacterial and anti-diarrhoeal properties :

Daruharidra can provide relief in acute diarrhoea with slimy bowel, sticky mucus, and bad odour, by successfully removing germs from the intestines. It also relieves dysentery and lessens frequent bowel movements.

Anti-diabetic properties:

In diabetic patients, berberine and berberol enhance insulin production. Hence, increases the activity of pancreatic beta-cells, slows down the digestion of starch and keeps blood sugar levels proportionate.

Maintain optimal level of female hormones:

Absence of menstruation, painful menstruation, abdominal pain, white water discharge are a few symptoms that are addressed with the help of this herb. It also helps in the management of bleeding and postnatal ailments.

Good for skin health:

Due to its blood-purifying effects and Kapha-Pitta reducing characteristics, it can heal infections, regulate sebum production, and shield the skin from oxidative damage. It can also relieve wounds, burns, ulcers, allergic diseases, and slow down ageing indicators.

Improves Liver health:

It can greatly help in healing liver abnormalities like jaundice and fatty liver. Berberine can reduce triglycerides, optimise level of liver enzymes, help the liver produce bile, and cleanse the liver.

Brain tonic:

Berberine has an antidepressant-like effect through modulation of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.

Promote Heart health:

In isolated cardiac tissues, Daruharidra extract has a beneficial inotropic effect.

It can also be used for boosting immunity, combating oral health problems, reducing risk of cancer, improving hair health, alleviating bed sores, promoting wound healing, etc.

How to use:

  • Mix 1 teaspoon each of Daruharidra powder, neem powder, aloevera gel, a pinch of turmeric, and rose water to form a paste. Apply this paste all over your face and neck to get a beautiful, flawless complexion.
  • Consume 1 teaspoon Daruharidra powder with honey in case of white water discharge (leucorrhoea)
  • Decoction made by boiling 25 gm of the powder in 200ml of water, reduced to 50 ml, can be taken for 5 days in cases of fever.
  • Applying paste of Daruharidra powder by mixing in water, for 30 minutes, over eyelids, and them removing it, helps in conjunctivitis or other similar types of eye problems.
  • ½ teaspoon of Daruharidra powder with honey after meal, twice a day for 3 days checks on diarrhoea.
  • 5 gm of the powder along with 1 gm of turmeric powder can be taken daily, in an empty stomach, with luke warm water by diabetic patients.
  • Dilute the powder in thirty times water and wash the affected area in piles.
  • Add ½ Amla powder in 1 cup decoction made by Daruharidra powder and drink for 3 days, for relief in case of painful urination.


Contraindicated in pregnancy because of it’s hot potency.


Published By: Ayurveda Store New Zealand | All Rights Reserved.


  • Sharma Divya, Mishra H.S, & Agarwal A.K. (2022). Daruharidra (Berberis Aristata Dc): A Solution to Ailments in Present and Future. International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research, 10(9), 52-56.
  • https://www.iafaforallergy.com/herbs-a-to-z/daruharidra-berberis-aristata/
  • https://pharmeasy.in/blog/ayurveda-uses-benefits-side-effects-of-daruharidra/
  • Acharya TY. Sushruta. Sushruta Samhita with the Nibandhasangraha Commentary of Dalhanacharya. Reprint ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Surbharti Prakashan; 2017
  • Sastry JL. Dravyaguna Vijnana (Practical Training for Dravyaguna Students). Chaukhambha orientalia. Reprint edition 2013


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Author: Dr. Monika Mittal

Editor: Debleena Chatterjee

Photography by: Dear Sunflower