Barberry Bark (Berberis vulgaris)

£9.80 £12.25
By Napiers


A herbal food supplement


Berberis vulgaris


Common Barberry, European Barberry




A native, bushy shrub that bears bitter red elongated berries in the autumn. Widespread throughout the UK.


The loose dried chopped bark.


100g / 500g Pouch. Not currently available to customers in the EU.


Vegetarians and vegans.


Decoction: Half a 1 teaspoon to 1 (1 to 2 g) of herb to a cup of cold water, bring to the boil and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Or steep 1 teaspoon bark in cold water overnight. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.


This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Berberidaceae). Maximum of 6g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules. Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children, or if you are unwell, have health concerns or an ongoing illness. If in doubt, please ask us, your medical herbalist or healthcare practitioner. Do not use whilst pregnant or lactating without consulting a professional. If you are taking any medication, please speak to your healthcare practitioner before using this product. Discontinue use and consult a doctor if adverse reactions occur. This product should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet or lifestyle. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Interacts with phenylbutazone and other medication that replaces the protein binding of bilirubin.


Both barberries and barberry bark are used to make bitters and are often an ingredient in gin. The berries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants.

Barberry bark is used as a herbal tea.

Juice and ferment the berries with kefir to make a refreshing lemon-like drink similar to sumac lemonade.


Berberis thunbergia is said to be the best for culinary use having large berries, the fruit contains pectin so no need to add any to the jam.

Recipes tend to call for equal amounts of sugar and fruit with a small amount of water to help the softening process: Boil two pounds of refined sugar with half a pint of water until it becomes white, and falls in masses from the spoon; throw in two pounds of thoroughly ripe and sound barberries (deseeded), and stir for five minutes; skim thoroughly, pour into jars and cover down.

Visit Celtnet for a full jam recipe. Another useful source of Barberry recipes is Earthnotes


Treats the gallbladder, gallstones, jaundice, kidney and digestive problems, stomach ulcers. It contains berberine which is antibacterial.

Key actions: Cholagogue, antimicrobial, bitter tonic, mild laxative, antiemetic, choleretic.

In clinic: Herbalists use this herb to treat jaundice, cholecystitis, leishmaniasis, cholelithiasis.

If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.


Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Keep out of reach of children.

Pouches: Packaged in a biodegradable stand-up resealable pouch. Made with 45% - 60% renewable wood pulp starch. When placed into a composting environment the pouches will biodegrade to compost within 3 months.

A trust kept since 1860

Napiers the Herbalists was founded by Duncan Napier, a Victorian botanist and the most famous herbalist in Scotland.