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Barberry fruit

Introduction of Barberry fruit

            Scientific name - Berberis Vulgaris

Barberries are found in temperate and subtropical regions around the world. Native species can be found in Europe and North America whereas a greater diversity of species can be found in Asia, Africa and South America. The flowers are either Orange or yellow, about 3 to 6mm long with both sepals and petals, six each in alternating whirls of three. The fruit is a small berry about 5 to 15mm long colored deep red or dark blue. They have waxy surface in either pink or violet and sometimes appear long but mostly spherical in shape.

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Nutritional Value of Barberry fruit

Typical Values Per 100g Per Portion (25g)
Energy 316 calories 79.1 calories
Protein 3.6g 0.9g
Carbohydrates 63.9g 16g
_of which sugar 27.2g 6.8g
Fat 3.5g 0.9g
_of which saturates 0.5g 0.1g
Fiber 7.4g 1.9g
Sodium 0.017g 0.004g
Vitamin C 24mg 6mg

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Uses of Barberry fruit

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The berries have special use in cooking. Rich in Vitamin C and having large amounts of Pectin they are most useful in making Jams throughout Europe. In Eastern countries such as Iran it is also used in making Jams and is also used as raisins or as a currant while making their famous pilaf. Russia has a famous candy called the Barberis which is made from the extract of this berry. The berries grow in thorny shrubs making it difficult for picking and are hence not widely consumed. The birds however feed on the berries and help in dispersing the seeds through their droppings.

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Health Benefits of Barberry fruit

Other than cooking and Jams these berries also has plenty of health benefits. For many centuries, they have been used in the treatment of diarrhea, stomach upset and fever. In Iran it is popularly used to treat liver and gall bladder disorders. Tea made from Barberries are said to have a soothing effect and also used to treat heartburn. It is also used to treat fever and lung infections. The berry can be found as a common ingredient in capsules, tinctures, ointments and fluid extracts. It is also used as an Antifungal and Anti-inflammatory substance to treat inflammation around the privates and the urinary tract. Nasal related issues such as Bronchitis, nasal congestion, sore throat also used the Barberry as a remedial factor.

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Autumn season is the best time to plant these suckers and will be ready for harvest by the next autumn. The plants will be well rooted and can the young shoots can be replanted in the same soil. Ripened berries can also be used if planted one inch deep in sandy soil or with seeds as well. They will grow and bloom beautifully by next autumn.

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