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Herbs have a special place both in my heart and my pantry shelf. Recently a new member joined our little family – Oregon Grape Root. Since Oregon is my home I am bit embarrassed to admit that it took me ten years of living here to find out that oregon grape is the state flower. I decided to make amends by both giving this herb a place of honor in my home and also sharing its amazing properties with you all.
What is Oregon Grape?
A perennial shrub native to the Northwest, Oregon Grape has spiny leaves, and dark blue berries. Although chock-full of vitamin C, the berries are very tart and rather unpalatable. I personally enjoy the shocking flavor, but then again I like to suck on lemons. Some of our friends have made jam from the berries and it is delicious. I hope to make some in the near future.
The Oregon Grape Root contains berberine, considered a natural antibiotic. The herb also contains other powerful phytochemicals (columbamine, hydrastine, jatrorrhizine, oxyacanthine, and tetrahydroberberine, as well as tannins) that have a long list of benefits.1
Benefits of Oregon Grape Root
Oregon Grape Root stimulates the liver to improve production of bile and liver enzymes, and improves overall liver function. It increases the efficiency of the liver in detoxifying the blood as it passes through the liver. There have been liver issues in my family and I am always drinking bitter teas and herbs to give my liver some help to clear out the toxins. A cup of oregon grape root tea is quite potent and it will flush your liver in no time. If I indulged at a party and had a couple of glasses of wine or mixed drinks I have a cup of tea when I come home to counteract the damage.
Improves Fat Digestion
It increases bile, stomach acid (HCl) and pepsinogen production. A cup of oregon grape root tea will both cleanse your liver and aid to the digestion of fats and protein. I like to drink a cup of tea about twenty minutes before a fatty meal. It helps me feel less sluggish afterwards or deal with unwanted constipation due to the high fat intake.
Promotes a Clear Complexion
I let my oregon grape root tea steep for longer making it much much more bitter and then turn in into a face wash/toner to help my acne prone skin. I follow this with my anti acne oil blend recipe. My skin is finally doing a lot better! The herb is working both internally and externally for me. A congested liver leads to a hormonal imbalance. A hormonal imbalance leads to acne. Topically applied oregon grape root has antimicrobial antiseptic properties which helps dry out the acne and prevents any infection. Psoriasis and eczema are also skin conditions that benefit from both topical and internal application. However some people can be sensitive, apply carefully on your hand first to make sure you won’t have a reaction.
Check out our 3 great recipes for how to do an herbal facial steam, including the use of Oregon Grape Root.
If you are looking for a great facial toner to purchase, check out Scratch Mommy Founder Jess’s Facial Toner in the Pronounce Skincare Shop.
Contains Anti-Inflammatory Immune Boosting Properties
Berberine is a powerful alkaloid that fights infection, and supports the immune system. Drinking a cup of tea or mixing a few drops of tincture in your water at the onset of a cold might save you a few days of unnecessary feverish delirium. You can also use this same treatment in a case of a nasty food poisoning along with some activated charcoal.You can learn how to make a tincture here.
Ways to Enjoy Oregon Grape Root
Oregon Grape Root tea is bitter, but rather smooth and I personally like the taste. Add a little organic, raw honey…YUMMO!
I can also using Oregon Grape Root as a face toner. Learn how to create a simple decoction that can be used as a simple toner.
Caution: Do not use Oregon Grape Root if pregnant or struggling with chronic gastrointestinal irritation. Exercise caution when using in children. Vitamin B6 supplements can give infectious bacteria resistance to the antibacterial toxins in the herb. Do not take if you have hyperthyroid issues.