FoI
Asian Barberry   
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Asian Barberry
P Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Asian Barberry • Hindi: दारहल्द Dar-hald, दारुहल्दी Daruhaldi, कसमल Kasmal • Malayalam: चुत्रो Chutro, डर Dar, गिठा Githa • Marathi: Daruhaldi • Sanskrit: दारु Daru, दारुहरिद्र Daruharidra • Tamil: Uchikkala
Botanical name: Berberis asiatica    Family: Berberidaceae (Barberry family)
Synonyms: Berberis hypoleuca, Berberis asiatica var. clarkeana

Asian Barberry is a much branched shrub 2-4 rn, with pale yellow branches, and th~ck rigid evergreen leaves with usually 2-5 spiny teeth, shining dark grcen above and greyish beneath. Flowers pale yellow, in somewhat flat-topped clusters shorter than the leaves, with red hairless stalks; petals obovate, notched, 5-7 rnm. Leaves ovate to elliptic. 1.8-7.5 cm; stem splnes 1- 1.5 cm. Fruit is glaucous, dark purple, oblong-ovoid, 8 mrn. Fruit edible. Fruit - raw or dried and used like raisins. This species is said to make the best Indian raisins. Asian Barberry is found in the Himalayas, from Uttarakhand to SW China, at altitudes of 1200-2500 m. Flowering: March-May.
Medicinal uses: The roots are used in treating ulcers, urethral discharges, ophthalmia, jaundice, fevers etc. The bark and wood are crushed in Nepal then boiled in water, strained and the liquid evaporated until a viscous mass is obtained. This is antibacterial, laxative and tonic. It is taken internally to treat fevers and is used externally to treat conjuctivitis and other inflammations of the eyes. Tender leaf buds are chewed and held against affected teeth for 15 minutes to treat dental caries. The fruit is cooling and laxative.

Identification credit: Ishwari Datt Rai Photographed in Mussoorie & Ranikhet, Uttarakhand.

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