Oregon grape is a small low growing shrub with evergreen leaves that turn red in the fall. The holly-like leaflets have prickly edges and grow in pairs. In the spring it produces small yellow flowers that bloom in clusters on terminal spikes. These later turn into purple berries that can be made into jam, jellies or juice. The bitter tasting yellow root with the alkaloid berberine, is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic. Use it on psoriasis, eczema, boils and wounds. It is considered a “blood purifier” and liver tonic, as it stimulates bile production and clears up skin conditions. The root is also used to make a yellow dye.
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