Oregon grapes are an evergreen shrub native to areas of low average elevation throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Oregon grape’s name is somewhat misleading because the fruit it bears is not really a grape. Long before Europeans and other immigrants started coming to the United States, indigenous tribes used Oregon grape for many health benefits including fever, arthritis, jaundice, diarrhea, and other male diseases.
1. The active ingredient in Oregon Grape
✅ The chemical composition of Oregon Oregon grapes is believed to have most of the medicinal properties of plants, called berberine (derived from the roots of the tree and giving the stem and root its yellow color). Berberine, an alkaloid derivative of many herbs, including goldenseal, Carberry, and other herbs in the genus Berberis L, is known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties and has been used to reduce conditions, such as diarrhea infection, chronic candida infection, etc.
2. Top 4 Oregon Grape health benefits
2.1 Oregon Grape health benefits: Antibacterial properties
✅ Berberine (an active compound in Oregon grapes) has powerful antibacterial properties. It is mainly used to treat bacterial infections including, sore throat, intestinal (causing diarrhea), and urinary tract infection. Many studies have shown that berberine can fight MRSA, E. Coli, which are dangerous bacteria causing digestive tract infection. However, more scientific evidence is needed to make sure that all Oregon grapes (not just berberine) are safe and effective in treating these infections.
2.2 Oregon Grape health benefits: Treatment of some skin conditions
✅ Psoriasis is characterized by scaly, red patches of skin, while atopic dermatitis is a serious form of eczema that causes itchy, dry skin. Oregon grapes are used in the form of an ointment that is effective in reducing itching, irritation, and inflammation in people with mild to moderate psoriasis. The study used whole Oregon grape extract and found it reduced inflammation (a common symptom of psoriasis). In a 6-month study in 32 people with psoriasis who used topical creams extracted from Oregon grapes, 63% said the product had the same or superior effect as the pharmacological treatment standard products.
2.3 Oregon Grape health benefits: Good for the digestive system
- Berberine in Oregon grapes can reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as well as other stomach problems like inflammatory bowel disease. In an 8-week study of 196 people with IBS, people treated with berberine experienced a lower incidence of diarrhea, abdominal pain, and overall IBS symptoms, compared to those who took a placebo. Animal studies using this compound show that they not only improve IBS symptoms but also improve other conditions of gastritis such as enteritis.
- Reducing heartburn: Due to the anti-inflammatory effects of berberine, Oregon grapes can help prevent heartburn and esophageal injuries. Heartburn is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux, which occurs when stomach acid gets into the esophagus. Heartburn causes painful, burning sensation in the throat or chest. In a study of acid reflux rats, people treated with berberine had less esophageal damage than those treated with omeprazole (a common treatment for heartburn).
2.4 Oregon Grape health benefits: Improve mood
✅ Some evidence indicates that berberine, a compound found in Oregon grapes, can reduce symptoms of chronic depression and stress. In a 15-day study in rats, a treatment using berberine increased serotonin and dopamine levels by 19% and 52%, respectively. These hormones are known to help regulate your mood. Many people call dopamine a “happy hormone” because it has many beneficial effects on the mind and body of people. When the happy hormone dopamine in the body is released in large quantities, you will feel excited, excited, full of inspiration. In contrast, low dopamine levels will reduce motivation, reduce enthusiasm, reduce concentration, and limit the adjustment of body movements. Serotonin, meanwhile, is a neurotransmitter that participates in many processes throughout your body, from regulating your mood to promoting digestion.
3. Notes when using Oregon Grape
- There are a number of side effects that have been reported from the use of Oregon grapes, including itching, burning and irritation, rash (especially topical use), jaundice, allergic reactions.
- Some medicines can interact with Oregon grapes and may interfere with the body’s ability to break certain drugs in the liver. Anyone taking prescription drugs should consult their health care provider before taking Oregon grapes to avoid liver damage.
- Oregon grapes are not recommended for pregnant women (it is thought to cross the placental barrier and may harm an unborn baby). Oregon grapes are not safe for use by nursing mothers; Brain damage has been reported in neonates exposed to berberine, which can be transferred to the infant via breast milk.
- The safety of Oregon grapes has not been established for use by children (especially in infants).
- It is recommended that Oregon grapes (taken orally) be used for no more than two to three weeks. Long-term use has been found to lead to adverse reactions such as damage to natural probiotics in the digestive system and liver toxicity.
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