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 improves 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 formula as a tincture, tea or capsules 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 formula to use in times of infection would be a combination of equal parts Oregon grape root, Echinacea root, Garlic, Calendula and Yarrow. To make a tincture, 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 first a wife to her best friend Ryan, homeschool mom of 7 awesome kids, Holistic Health Practitioner in the state of Utah and Traditional Naturopath outside of the state of Utah, master gardener, yoga/pilates instructor, certified clinical and master herbalist, licensed massage therapist, and doula. She is a very passionate advocate of all things Mother Nature! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients, herbal and natural home care product recipes and loves teaching classes on gardening, plant identification and herbal remedy workshops. Check out the events and classes page for more info.

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