According to acharya vagbhat there is nothing in this world which is not a medicine. In Ayurveda there is gross description given on many herbal and herbomineral drugs from this great ocean of knowledge Daruharidra (Berberis aristata De.) is a gem.
Daruharidra is an evergreen shrub having height 1.25 to 3 meters. The leaves are strong with fine whorld venation, straight, but with dentate or corrugated margins. Inflorascence is 5-8 cms. Long, with large yellow coloured flowers. The fruits are bluish purple and small(called zarishka in Yunani). Flowers bloom in the spring and fruits in winter . The stem is ash coloured from outside but is dark yellow coloured inside. It mainly grows in Himalaya, Parasnath, Nilgiri, Nepal etc at height of 0.75 to 4.25 thousand meters.
Root , stem , Fruits chemical constituent of Daruharidra are berberin which is an active principle of it.
Rasa-Tikta (bitter) Veerya-Ushna Vipaka-Katu. Fruit is sweet and sour and sheet veerya.
Antiinflammatory, analgesic, wound healing, Appetiser, Liver stimulant, Cholagouge but astringent, blood purifier and haemostatic, Febrifuge, Diaphoretic, etc.
Some medicinal uses are as follows:
Rasanjana (Milk extract of Daruharidra) with honey destroyes the diseases of oral cavity like recurrent ulcers, bleeding gums, toothachae etc.
Milk decoction of daruharidra should be used for washing eyes in infective conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis
Rasanjana combined with Trikatu(dryginger+black pepper+long pepper) is made into pills which are rubbed and applied as a paste destroyes Anjananamika(stye) associated with itching and inflammation.
Darvyadi Kashayam containing Daruharidra as a main ingredient is used for menorrhegia.
Decoction of daruharidra is also useful in cases of Leucorrhoea
Daruharidra with Amalaki(Embellia officinalis) juice mixed with honey alleviates Prameha.
Rasanjana is also useful in nappy rashes as a local application.
As it is febrifuge and diaphoretic and is a prophylactic for typhoid , hence it is useful in common fever and also in chronic fever. It causes sweating, is antipyretic and is useful in recurrent malaria. When malarial parasite hide in liver quinine is ineffective but daruharidra is very effective. After administering a mild laxative, 1gm of Rasasnjana diluted in water should be given 3 times in a day then patient is covered with thick clothes and is made to sleep. After a while the patient will feel thirsty but water should not be administered.After an hour there will be sweating . Warm milk or sage kheer should be given orally. This preserves and increases strength of patient. The fever get reduced and there is reduction in hepatosplenomegaly.
In this way daruharidra is a good remedy in many disorders.
1) Vanoushadhi Chandrodaya
2) Nighantu Adarsh
3) Text book of Ayurvedic pharmacology and Therupetic uses of Medicinal Plants