so, I see the short version growing in the forest out my back door...is this the same thing? or is it salal? it has blue berries in late fall but not sure what the color of the flowers are, I'll have to watch it this summer.
Rosalee, you have the most comprehensive, clear explanations of herbs and their uses available just about anywhere. THANK YOU for the beautiful lessons, photos and clinical experiences you're sharing. I'm proud to be a fellow EW graduate!Mo Horner, Four Winds Natural Healing Center, Omaha, NE
Thank you for posting this, Rosalie. I haven't worked with Oregon Grape Root yet as it isn't a native plant over here. Many people have it growing as an ornamental, including my parents and it's on my list of "pleants to work with in the future". Your stunning photos made me go and look at my parents' plant today and take my own photos. For some reason, despite the frost and bitter cold it is trying to flower and the fruit have long gone. The leaves are turning in the same stunning way as yours so it looks thoroughly confused.
Great piece on O. Grape. I am also fascinated by Berberis nervosa, the small woodland species that you see growing in shady forests near salal. I have only wildcrafted the aquifolium but I'm wondering if you've ever collected nervosa and what the differences in taste, effect and vibe are?
Hi Kate, I don't have M. nervosa growing near me, so I don't use it. However, herbalists where this is growing use it extensively. Howie Brownstein is a good source of information. I consider them to be entirely interchangeable myself.
Thank you for this lovely information. You wrote it so well! I hope this helps to cure my staph.
My friend made a jelly from this and it was DELICIOUS! served with waffles or on toast etc. He used the common decorative plant that can be found in parking lots etc. Very good.
Rosalee, I have been looking into making my own natural deodorant and one of the recipes I came upon online suggested using 1/4 tsp of oregon grape root powder for those with sensitive skin. How effective is OGR when applied externally?
OGR is very effective when applied externally to an infection. Using a 1/4 teaspoon in a (larger) deodorant recipe doesn't sound incredibly useful to me, but definitely wouldn't hurt.
I'm experiencing hormone imbalance (possibly high estrogen) and mild insulin sensitivity... This was such a helpful article, thank you Rosalee. I think Oregon grape could be very helpful for me, except that my one-year old and three year-old children are still breastfeeding, and I have heard cautions about use during breastfeeding... Are there any other herbs that would work similarly but be safer to use during breastfeeding? Dandelion or yellow dock?
That's a hard question for me to answer because I don't really think of herbs as being good for "insulin resistance" or "estrogen dominance". Instead I want to know why the person is having those issues, who the person is (constitution) and then build a "formula" around diet/lifestyle and then herbs. You can read more about my approach here: http://www.methowvalleyherbs.com/2013/07/what-herb-is-good-for-disease.html
Dear Rosalee - This article has been so helpful to me - Mahonia is my "herb-of-the moment".....I want to pin it to Pinterest but can't find it separate from your other herbal articles. Will you enable pinning just for this article?Thanks so much.NancyLee
Hi NancyLEE, So glad you enjoyed the article! I don't have individual pin buttons on my articles. It takes me too long to get it all set up for every article. What you can do is go to the article URL: http://www.methowvalleyherbs.com/2012/11/oregon-grape-root-it-could-save-world.htmlAnd use the Pin IT button from there. I"ll also pin this right now and you can share that from my Pinterest if you like. Thanks again! Rosalee
Thanks Rosalee - it's pinned right where I wanted it!NancyLee
Very thorough article, thanks!I'm surrounded by this powerful medicine and use it as a tincture for liver revitilization.My question is whether this tonic can be taken regularly like Hawthorn or does its efficacy decrease with continued use.Merci,john
It's not something I would take long term although I don't know of any particular problems in doing so. If it was part of a well-made formula it probably wouldn't be a problem.
Hi, thank you for your great info! If I don't have any eczema etc. how can I tell if I'm "hot" or "cold"? I have a lot of Oregon Grape in my Oregon back yard and I am very interested in using this. I have fibromyalgia with chronic fatigue and have been told I have sluggish liver. Susan
General signs of coldness are: -feeling cold (when others aren't, wearing a sweater when others are in t-shirts for example)-cold hands/feet-pale complexion-slow pulse-white coating on the tongue-slow digestion-low libido-clear copious urine
Can we take this supplement while on antibiotics by doctor (ery-max)?
Hi Elise, I am sorry but I don't feel comfortable giving out health advice to someone I don't know. Consider working with an herbalist - you can find a listing of herbalist at the American Herbalist Guild website.
Elsie - dispensing medical advice, which is what you are asking for in dealing with antibiotics, is a criminal offense and the medical people will come down hard on those who do so without a license. Rosalee is correct in suggesting you find an herbalist to work with. Or take your own advice after you do the research.
My son has a MRSA infection ( apparently, although the Dr did not culture it to be sure). Basically, he's had a sore on his leg that will not go away- it's been there about 8 weeks. I've been treating it with blue light therapy and colloidal silver gel. I'm wondering if Oregon grape would help?
Dear Rosalie, Thank you so much for this article. The most I have learned about this herb so far! I have a mild case of psorisis and have for 25 years! It has stayed on my elbows, and occasionally appears on my knees, elbows or lower legs. May I consult with you on trying oregon grape for it?
Excellent article! A good reminder of what our Herbal Elders have taught us about Mahonia and then some. Always great to see what fellow EW Alumni are doing.
Rosalee, do you know what color is the oregon grape root tincture
A great quality tincture will be a really deep yellow color.
My goodness--what an excellent and thorough article. I really, really appreciate your focus on the body as an integrated health system, and not simply parts with symptoms. (In fact, one could argue that western medicine's "silver bullet" and symptom-focused approach is one of the reasons we're dealing with MRSA today...but I digress). I especially value how you tied to the liver so many of the illnesses and conditions oregon grape is useful for, something I would never have considered. (And I sheepishly must admit that I got here after reading--in Balch!--about goldenseal and other berberine-containing herbs--basically being a silver-bullet seeker! Ack!!!)I've been dealing with a staph infection and wound for a few months, and then felt called--there's no other way of putting it--to start taking milk thistle. (This was after having some relief from garlic, pau d'arco, and then adding wild oregano in a carrier oil). I knew nothing about the connection between skin and the liver.I also stopped eating grains (after having let them go for some time, I'd been eating lots of steel-cut oats, sprouted wheat toast, and corn tortillas). I started feeling better. One day I stumbled upon an article about mold on grain, and its effects (and that of mold byproducts) on the liver. A big light went off for me. It seems that mold on grains is nearly ubiquitous (even on organically grown grains), yet most of the studies are on short-term, high-dose cases--versus long-term, low-dose consumption. It made me wonder if many of the folks who think they're gluten-intolerant are actually dealing with grain molds.I've also been consuming lots of homemade kefir to keep my gut flora (somewhat) alive during this process (I found out that fermented products--especially kefir--can be effective against common grain-borne molds), and recently began topical application of a liquid goldenseal extract, which has done some eye-popping healing in just 48 hours. (In hindsight, that's probably where I should have started...)I do apologize for going on like this, I simply want to thank you for your selfless work here (and your new site is beautiful, BTW!). My best to you,Angela
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