Organic Emily

Medicinal Herb – Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape

Medicinal Herb post #40 written July 31, 2018

Oregon Grape – Mahonia aquifolium and M. repins

The roots of this sun to part shade perennial contains the medicine. It grows wild throughout our Utah mountains. The root is best harvested in the early spring or fall. It contains a chemical in it called berberine that gives it a yellow color. Berberine is a fabulous antibiotic, much like the coveted, expensive and endangered Goldenseal. Oregon grape root can be used instead. It contains 13 different antibacterial chemicals, where penicillin, for example only contains 1. This is important because bacterial stains are less likely to become resistant to it like pharmaceutical antibiotics. Essentially the bacteria don’t know what to do other than die. Just like with any antibiotic herb or drug, probiotics or fermented foods should be consumed during the regimen and afterward. Only use during a current infection or temporarily internally as a cleanser. Long term use can cause vitamin B deficiency. Avoid during pregnancy and nursing.

Oregon grape is also an alterative, supporting the body’s ability to function normally. Many herbalist believe it does this due to its hepatic properties in helping to cleanse the liver by increasing bile production. This effects skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and eczema. It also contains antilithic benefits in helping to break down stones, gall or kidney. It is an antifungal and antiparasitic herb as well.

I make a liver cleansing tincture using equal parts Oregon grape root, Dandelion root, Burdock root, Yellow dock and Milk thistle. Use 1 tsp 3x a day for 2 weeks.

Another tincture to use in times of infection would be a combination of equal parts Oregon grape root, Echinacea root, Garlic, Calendula and Yarrow. Steep in 100 proof vodka for 4 weeks, strain and store in amber bottle out of sunlight. Other antibacterial herbs include, Barberry, Chamomile, Chaparral, Gumweed, Uva Ursi, Wormwood, Cayenne, St. John’s Wort, Elecampane, Peppermint, Plantain, Rue, Sage, Usnea, Gentian and Myrrh.

Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, Mom of 4 cute kids, Yoga instructor and very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients and her escapades as the keeper of both backyard chickens and honeybees!

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