Barberry, also known as berberis is a spice that is commonly believed to have its origins in Europe, North Africa, as well as some parts of Asia. They are dried, bright red berries, and are generally used in cooking for their fruity aroma and acidic taste. What makes Barberry such a unique spice is that is can also be used as a general health tonic to improve your health and overall well-being.
It is commonly used to increase vigour and stamina and to improve the immune system. The active substance found in the plant, known as berberine alkaloids has been proven to be able to effectively fight bacteria and infection while strengthening our immune system. As such, it comes as no surprise that barberry has multiple health benefits, which include fighting cold and fever and relieving inflammation. While both the roots and bark of the plant have medicinal purposes, the bark was also initially used for colouring for wool, leather and linen.
Today, barberry is most popularly used in Afghan dishes, where they use it for adding flavour to various rice dishes. Apart from its use as a food flavouring agent in Afghanistan, not many cultures use barberry nowadays.