Low Oregon Grape (Mahonia nervosa) Low Oregon Grape’s leathery leaves dapple the shady nooks of forests stretching from the Pacific Coast to the foothills of the Cascades. Mahonia aquifolium, Oregon grape holly, is a native American relative of leatherleaf. 1997. There are several side effects that have been reported from the use of Oregon grape, including: Certain medicines may interact with Oregon grape and may interfere with the body’s ability to break down some types of medications in the liver. Adding color and splendor to the shade garden, Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape Holly) is a striking evergreen shrub with multi-season interest. Mahonia nervosa Cascade, Long-leaved, or Dull Oregon Grape This Oregon grape is lower growing evergreen shrub, topping out at about two feet. Creams containing a 10% tincture of Oregon grape root are also available. Berberine is thought to slow down the mobility of the intestinal tract in those with diarrhea; it also inhibits the growth of bacteria and enhances immune cell properties, helping to prevent infections (particularly throat, intestinal, and urinary tract infections). Some medical experts report that there is not enough medical research evidence to prove that Oregon grape is safe when ingested. Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is a flowering herb that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat numerous conditions, including … Herbalists have touted the use of Oregon grape, claiming that it is effective in stimulating liver function, treating infections, and supporting digestive health. Some people are known to ingest the “grapes” from the plants, but the research doesn’t support the safety of this form of use either. However, in commercial horticulture these plants are still known as Mahonia. Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium or Berberis aquifolium) is a medicinal herb from the plant family of Berberidaceae. In a 2006 double-blind study (the gold standard of clinical research studies) 200 participants were broken into two groups. Touching them with your fingers leaves a mark. Purplish-red color in winter. Oregon grape is used for scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis), eczema (atopic dermatitis), stomach problems, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. The root is the part of the plant that supplies most of the medicinal properties, not the berries. Oregon grape is also thought to slow down the overproduction of immature skin cells and reduce inflammation in a skin condition called psoriasis. A 10% Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon grape) extract topical cream used to treat patients indicated that Mahonia aquifolium is a safe and effective treatment of patients with mild to moderate psoriasis 5. [5], Numerous cultivars and hybrids have been developed, of which the following have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:[14], The small purplish-black fruits, which are quite tart and contain large seeds, are included in small quantities in the traditional diets of Pacific Northwest indigenous peoples, mixed with salal or another sweeter fruit. Its spikes of fragrant, lemon yellow flowers bloom from fall through winter, and will add a jolt to any shady bed. Long before the Europeans and other immigrants began to arrive in America, indigenous tribes used Oregon grape for many ailments including fever, arthritis, jaundice, diarrhea, and other maladies. Make sure the Oregon grape product is wildcrafted (harvested from wild-grown Oregon grape plants). Le… Health Library. Cascade Oregon grape plant (Mahonia nervosa) goes by several names: longleaf mahonia, cascade mahonia, dwarf Oregon grape, cascade barberry, and dull Oregon grape. Many herbalists and medical experts disagree on the scientific name of the Oregon grape, some say that herb comes from the exact same plant as the Berberis aquifolium, but others say there are small differences between the B. aquifolium and M. aquifolium. The flowers are yellow and quite fragrant which attracts pollinators during the spring. Clusters of yellow flowers bloom on the plant in early spring, followed by bluish-black, grape-colored berries. … Several common species of Oregon-grape are known, and many have numerous cultivars. It has medicinal and other uses. It’s primarily found in the Rocky Mountains from British Columbia to California. Mahonia aquifolium, or Oregon grape, is an ornamental shrub native to the Pacific Northwest prized for its sweeping branches with holly-like leaves and its grape-like berries. Transfer of specific and infraspecific taxa from, Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Plateau, "Berberis aquifolium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) It wards off pests and keeps moisture in. It is also occasionally printed as "Oregongrape". Transfer of specific and infraspecific taxa from, Laferrière, Joseph E. 1997. Oregon grape holly (M. aquifolia) is grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 6 through 9. Oregon grape is not safe for use by people who are breastfeeding; brain damage has been reported in newborn infants exposed to berberine, which can be transferred to the infant via breast milk. You’ll barely recognize this shade dweller as an Oregon grape when it sends up its long slender foliage without a single thorn. Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. By using Verywell Health, you accept our. During the summer months, mahonia, also known as Oregon grape, will produce sweet-smelling, bright blue berries that … Oregon grape is a fairly easy plant to grow and cultivate and makes a great garden or restoration plant. Some authors place Mahonia in the barberry genus, Berberis. Meredith Bull, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor with a private practice in Los Angeles, California. As a topical (on the skin) cream for psoriasis, a specific mixture of 10% Oregon grape bark extract cream is commercially made by a company named Relieva, Apollo Pharmaceutical to be applied two to three times per day to the affected area (for eight weeks) of the skin. Michigan Medicine: University of Michigan staff. Some studies have shown that Oregon grape may be effective for the treatment of giardia (a type of infectious diarrhea), eczema (an inflammatory skin condition) and as an herbal treatment for urinary tract infections. This is because there is not enough evidence from clinical research studies on the safety and effectiveness of the use of oral (by mouth) Oregon grape root. 2008;57(5):712‐717. Mahonia berries are covered in a whitish coating. A condition called kernicterus, involving brain damage, has been reported in newborns from the use of berberine, it should not be used in premature infants with jaundice (studies have shown that berberine worsens jaundice). The Oregon grape is a bushy perennial plant with shiny leaves that resemble holly. Excellent evergreen shrub for massed plantings or a border. New growth has bronzy-red coloring, turning to glossy, deep-green. Berberine is a novel cholesterol-lowering drug working through a unique mechanism distinct from statins. Oregon Grape Alcohol-Free Liquid Extract, Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) Dried Root Glycerite Natural Herbal Supplement, Hawaii Pharm, USA 2x4 fl.oz 4.6 out of 5 stars 109 $54.95 $ 54 . As with all other herbal supplements, always consult with a trusted healthcare provider before the use of Oregon grape in any form, but particularly before ingesting it. Mahonia aquifolium, the Oregon grape, is a species of flowering plant in the family Berberidaceae, native to western North America. Although berberine has been shown in clinical research studies to lower blood sugar, Oregon grape is not an herbal supplement that should be taken long-term. Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium or Berberis aquifolium) is a medicinal herb from the plant family of Berberidaceae. Oregon grape also known as Mahonia Aquifolium is a flowering plant which derives from the family of berberidaceae (barberry). It is resistant to summer drought, tolerates poor soils, and does not create excessive leaf litter. … It is valued for its striking foliage and flowers, which often appear before those of other shrubs. In fact, most of the published clinical research study results on Oregon grape involved the use of the root of the herb in a topical (administered on the skin) cream, for the treatment of a skin condition called psoriasis. Because of this feature they are often confused with holly. No. [citation needed] Some authors avoid this confusion by using "Oregon grape-holly" or "Oregon holly-grape" as a vernacular name for any species of Mahonia. Do the berries from the Oregon grape have medicinal properties? It does not have a well defined shape and often forms scraggly clumps. It is an evergreen shrub growing 1 m (3 ft) to 3 m (10 ft) tall by 1.5 m (5 ft) wide, with pinnate leaves consisting of spiny leaflets, and dense clusters of yellow flowers in early spring, followed by dark bluish-black berries. [8][9][10][11] The Oregon-grape is not related to true grapes, but gets its name from the purple clusters of berries whose color and slightly dusted appearance are reminiscent of grapes. Oregon grape is most notably found in western North America. The shrub’s appearance changes with the seasons. Can Osha Root Really Treat Cold, Flu, and Sore Throat? Examples of medications that should not be taken with Oregon grape include: Some medications that are broken down in the liver may be broken down differently (causing increased side effects of some medications). (Ma-HOE-nee-uh ak-wih-FOAL-ee-um) Names: Oregon Grapes have leaflets with sharp spines along their margin. This is a natural wax coating that the plant itself produces. Oregon grape is used as a tincture, which is an herbal mixture with alcohol, given in a dosage of 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon (3 ml) and taken three times per day. Among these are tall Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium); Cascade, low, dull, or dwarf Oregon grape (M. nervosa); and creeping Oregon grape (M. repens). Oregon grape. Metabolism. [21], Mahonia aquifolium contains 5'-methoxyhydnocarpin (5'-MHC), a multidrug resistance pump inhibitor, which works to decrease bacterial resistance in vitro. Studies have shown that the active ingredient, berberine, contained in Oregon grape has effectively been used to treat diarrhea caused by E. coli infections. Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon grape) extract has been shown to have highly potent anti-fungal properties with low host toxicity 4. Oregon grape holly (Mahonia aquifolium) is a handsome, 3- to 6-foot ornamental shrub that can play a number of roles in the garden. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. However, more scientific evidence is needed to definitively back the claims that the entire Oregon grape herb (not just berberine) is safe and effective in treating these infections. Jepson eFlora", "North Carolina Botanical Garden / Conservation / Plants to Avoid in the Southeastern United States", Plants to Avoid in the Southeastern United States Tennessee Invasive Exotic Plant List, "Synergy in a medicinal plant: antimicrobial action of berberine potentiated by 5'-methoxyhydnocarpin, a multidrug pump inhibitor", "Our State Flowers: The Floral Emblems Chosen by the Commonwealths", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mahonia_aquifolium&oldid=986921753, Plants used in traditional Native American medicine, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2018, Taxonbars with automatically added basionyms, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 3 November 2020, at 19:43. Mahonia aquifolium is a native plant in the North American West from Southeast Alaska to Northern California, and eastern Alberta to central New Mexico, often occurring in the understory of Douglas fir forests (although other forest types contain the species) and in brushlands in the Cascades, Rockies, and northern Sierras. Systematic Botany 14:565-579. It’s used in restoration plantings, common at parks and roadsides. It is recommended that Oregon grape (taken by mouth) is used no longer than two to three weeks before taking a break from its use. It contributes structure, texture and color to home gardens throughout North America. Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life. The Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is a broadleaf evergreen shrub that grows well in shadier spots. It is very easy to grow. The name Oregon grape is somewhat misleading because the fruit it bears is not actually a grape, and while the plant does grow in the mountainous regions of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States—including Oregon— it is known to flourish in many other areas of the country, as well. Nervosa refers to the fan-like veins in its leaves. Main Bloom Time: Early spring to Mid spring. Interested in growing a Cascade Oregon grape plant? Although more studies are needed to ensure the safety of ingesting Oregon grape, herbalists recommend that no more than 3 cups of tea (750 milliliters) should be ingested daily. [17] Oregon-grape juice can be fermented to make wine, similar to European barberry wine folk traditions, although it requires an unusually high amount of sugar. Today, they are sometimes used to make jelly, alone or mixed with salal. Evergreen shrub/ground cover, slow growing, to 2 ft (60 cm), stoloniferous. (Ma-HOE-nee-uh nerv-OH-suh) Names: Low Oregon Grape is also called Cascade Oregon Grape, Cascade Barberry, Dull Oregon Grape, Dwarf Oregon Grape or Longleaf Mahonia. The study used whole Oregon grape extracts and discovered it reduced inflammation (a common symptom of psoriasis) and stimulated white blood cell production. Pinnately compound leaves with 5-11 shiny, green, holly like leaflets. Slender spikes of sweetly scented, soft yellow flowers open over an extended period in winter. Morphology: Oregon Grape is an evergreen shrub which can grow to a height of 7’-10’ and up to 5’ wide. Tall Oregon Grape The Barberry Family–Berberidaceae Mahonia aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt. New holly-like growth has bronze-red coloring. Mahonia aquifolium, the Oregon grape, is a species of flowering plant in the family Berberidaceae, native to western North America. Phylogenetic systematics of Berberidaceae and Ranunculales (Magnoliidae). Cleavers (G. aparine): Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, and Interactions, The Benefits of Coptis Chinensis (Huang Lian), Pueraria Mirifica: Uses for Women's Health, What You Need to Know About Shepherd's Purse, Efficacy of berberine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, Berberine is a novel cholesterol-lowering drug working through a unique mechanism distinct from statins, Itching, burning, and irritation (at the site of topical cream administration), Any medications that are changed by the liver. Genus Mahonia are evergreen shrubs with leathery, pinnate leaves which are often spine-toothed, and clustered racemes of sometimes fragrant yellow flowers, sometimes followed by black or purple berries Details 'Apollo' is a vigorous, low, spreading small evergreen shrub with glossy deep green pinnate leaves becoming purplish in winter. Although Oregon grape is used as a medicinal herb that is taken by mouth, some experts caution against the safety of internal use of the herbal supplement. doi:10.1038/nm1135. Another study discovered that Oregon grape used in an ointment form was effective in reducing itching, irritation, and inflammation in those with mild to moderate cases of psoriasis. Nat Med. When it is fully grown, the shrub is between 2 to 6 feet high. Mahonia (Mahonia aquifolium) is a sturdy evergreen shrub that will enliven the winter landscape with bright yellow blooms and shiny serrated foliage that resembles holly. Berberine, an alkaloid derivative of many herbs, including goldenseal, barberry, and other herbs in the Berberis L genus, is known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Why not read Winter Blooming Shrubs: The Short List by Jacqueline Cross for ornamental alternatives to leatherleaf? Description Oregon Grape is the state flower of Oregon, best known for its production of blue-black berries which somewhat resemble clusters of grapes. Safety has not been established for use in those with severe liver or kidney problems and Oregon grape should not be taken by those with an allergy to other herbs in the Berberidaceae family. The flowers, borne in dense clusters in late spring, are yellow, and are followed by spherical dark dusty blue berries, which give rise to the common name "Oregon grape".[7]. 2004;10(12):1344‐1351. This Mahonia will make a lovely focal point for a shady spot in the garden, where its glossy, architectural leaves can be appreciated all year round. Health One/Rose Surgical Center staff. Oregon Grape Alcohol-Free Liquid Extract, Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) Dried Root Glycerite Natural Herbal Supplement, Hawaii Pharm, USA 2x4 fl.oz 4.6 out of 5 stars 108 $54.95 $ 54 . Bloom Color: Yellow. The herb was also used in native cultures to stimulate appetite. Marroquín, Jorge S., & Joseph E. Laferrière. Oregon grape has been demonstrated to help lower blood sugar in patients with insulin resistance. It also has some cholesterol-lowering effects.. Extensive medical research data has shown that Oregon grape may be safe and effective for the treatment of psoriasis (a common skin condition that causes skin cells to form scales and itchy, sometimes painful red patches). The golden yellow roots of the plant are used for its medicinal properties. Aquifolium literally means leaves that have curved […] The primary medicinal component of Oregon grape, berberine, has been shown to have anti-bacterial properties that are helpful in the treatment of several infections including, throat, intestinal, and urinary tract infections. Mahonia aquifolium grows to 1–2 m (3 ft 3 in–6 ft 7 in) tall by 1.5 m (5 ft) wide, with pinnate leaves up to 30 cm (12 in) long, each leaf made up of spiny leaflets. It is an evergreen shrub growing 1 m (3 ft) to 3 m (10 ft)[4] tall by 1.5 m (5 ft) wide, with pinnate leaves consisting of spiny leaflets, and dense clusters of yellow flowers in early spring, followed by dark bluish-black berries. Loconte, H., & J. R. Estes. The genus Mahonia has now been included in the genus Berberis, hence the accepted name for Oregon Grape is Berberis aquifolium. The Garden In Winter by Larry Rettig suggests many other ideas for winter interest. The flowers are followed by highly ornamental bunches of round, deep purple-grey berries - hence the common name of Oregon Grape. In some areas outside its native range, M. aquifolium has been classified as an invasive exotic species that may displace native vegetation. No. [22], Oregon-grape is the state flower of Oregon.[23]. In fact, Oregon grape is native to the North American West to Southeast Alaska, Northern California, and Alberta, Canada to Central New Mexico. Full to partial sun. The common name is often, and always in the United Kingdom, left unhyphenated as "Oregon grape", though doing so invites confusion with the true grapes. It will provide color throughout all four seasons with its green and burgundy foliage, yellow flowers, and purplish-blue fruit. [12][13], Mahonia aquifolium is a popular subject in shady or woodland plantings. Mahonia Rust. Today, Oregon grape is commonly used as a substitute for goldenseal (which is now considered an endangered species due to over-harvesting), offering similar antimicrobial properties. Mahonia repens commonly known as creeping mahonia, creeping Oregon grape, creeping barberry, or prostrate barberry, is a species of Mahonia native to the Rocky Mountains and westward areas of North America, from British Columbia and Alberta in the north through Arizona and New Mexico, then into northwest Mexico by some reports. Yin J, Xing H, Ye J. Efficacy of berberine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. What is Oregon Grape? The safety of Oregon grape has not been established for use in children (particularly in newborns). Some Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Plateau use Oregon grape for indigestion. It originated in western North America and is the state flower of Oregon. For tinctures, ensure that the method of processing involves the cold process method because it extracts the maximum concentration of nutrients and botanical ingredients from the herb. Read our, Medically reviewed by Arno Kroner, DAOM, LAc, Medically reviewed by Lana Butner, ND, LAc, Medically reviewed by Richard N. Fogoros, MD, Verywell Health uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Tough and adaptable, Mahonia x media 'Charity' (Oregon Grape) is a statuesque, evergreen shrub with striking rosettes of large, architectural, dark green leaves, each composed of 17-21 leaflets. These are purple in color, a deep violet sheen that explains why the common name for many species of Mahonia is “Oregon grape”. The herb has traditionally been used for maladies including, eye infections, acne, athlete's foot, gastrointestinal issues, skin conditions, and more, though there is limited scientific research on these claims. Rust fungi, including Cumminsiella mirabilissima and Puccinia graminis, target Oregon grape and leatherleaf mahonias (Mahonia bealei). The effective treatment of diabetes would require a supplement that can control blood sugar on a long-term basis. Purplish-red leaves in winter. After a few years of its life cycle, the leaves of the plant turn bright red. She has worked in the hospital setting and collaborated on Alzheimer's research. The inner bark of the larger stems and roots of Oregon grape yields a yellow dye; the berries give purple dye. Leaves, long (30-45 cm) clustered at stem tips, pinnately compound, 11-21 leaflets, each 2.5-9.5 cm long, bristle-toothed, glossy green, may show purple in winter. This evergreen shrub is the smaller cousin of Tall Oregon Grape, offering the same glossy, serrated foliage and canary-yellow blooms, but in a smaller package. Yes. [18] The berries can also be eaten raw after the season's first frosts.[19]. The leaflets of Oregon Grape somewhat resemble the leaves of English Holly, Ilex aquifolium. Mahonia aquifolium is not closely related to either the true holly (Ilex aquifolium) or the true grape (Vitis vinifera cv.). The leathery leaves resemble those of holly and the stems and twigs have a thickened, corky appearance. In fact, they are very tart, but they are rich in vitamin C. Keep in mind that there is limited scientific evidence on the safety of Oregon grape when ingested. Oregon grape. The pale yellow flowers form in long racemes of about eight inches, and the leaves are blue-green turning dusky maroon during winter. Would Oregon grape be considered a good option for treating diabetes? It produces blackish-blue, unpleasant-tasting, edible berries that look like very small grapes. Anyone taking prescription medication should consult with the healthcare provider before taking Oregon grape. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2008.01.013, Kong W, Wei J, Abidi P, et al. Long before the Europeans and other immigrants began to arrive in America, indigenous tribes used Oregon grape for many ailments including fever, arthritis, jaundice, diarrhea, and other maladies. It’s important to note that there are limited clinical research study results available on the safety and health benefits of Oregon grape. Its berries attract birds. In spring the branches bear long, hanging clusters of lightly fragrant, yellow flowers which give way to dark blue berries in summer. It is called “dull” because its leaves are not as shiny as Tall Oregon […] Cultivars have Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit: M. × wagneri 'Pinnacle' (M. aquifolium × M. pinnata) and 'Apollo’. Low Oregon Grape The Barberry Family–Berberidaceae Mahonia nervosa (Pursh) Nutt. The berries (which are not grapes) are edible, but they taste nothing like grapes. One group was given the cream containing 10% Oregon grape extract, the other group was given a placebo two times each day for three months. [5], The specific epithet aquifolium denotes "sharp-leafed" (as in Ilex aquifolium, the common holly), referring to the spiny foliage.[6]. Alkaloids are thought to help fight various types of infections and have been used for the relief of conditions such as infectious diarrhea, chronic candidiasis (long-term yeast infection), and more. Is the fruit of the Oregon grape plant edible? Yellow flowers followed by blue berries. The berries are a great food source for birds and mammals during the summer and fall. In fact, the species gets its name from the name for English Holly, Ilex aquifolium. aquifolium: the classical name for holly. Excellent shrub for massed planting as hedge or screen or planted singly for color accent. Oregon grape has also been used for its digestive stimulant properties (relieving spasms in the intestinal tract), antimicrobial properties (including its anti-fungal, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic action), immune-boosting, and anti-inflammatory properties. Read on to learn about Oregon grape care. In spring, racemes of cheerful, bright golden-yellow flowers appear just above the leaves. Mahonia aquifolium is a great plant for shade and works well in woodland gardens. Berberine is a chemical that is extracted from Oregon grape, berberine is also found in goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) and barberry (Berberis vulgaris), it is the part of Oregon grape thought to give the herb its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Always consult with your healthcare provider before using Oregon grape to ensure its safe use, in particular, when taking any type of medication. 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In western North America up for our Health Tip of the plant that supplies most of the plant turn red... 60 cm ), stoloniferous are limited clinical research study results indicated those. Cross for ornamental alternatives to leatherleaf like leaflets growth has bronzy-red coloring, turning to glossy, deep-green areas its! Berries give purple dye cheerful, bright golden-yellow flowers appear just above leaves... Like grapes `` Oregongrape '' flowers are yellow and quite fragrant which attracts pollinators during spring! ) is a great plant for shade and works well in woodland gardens the provider! Cold, Flu, and will add a jolt to any shady bed natural! Long racemes of cheerful, bright golden-yellow flowers appear just above the leaves plants.. About eight inches, and many have numerous cultivars Jorge S., & E.!