As an herbal remedy, Berberis has been used for centuries and by many cultures. It has been used by the Native Americans, European hebalists, the Chinese and by Ayurvedic physicians in India. It has been used to treat peptic ulcers, liver problems, gall bladder problems and diarrhea. As an herb, it is a potent antimicrobial.
In homeopathy Berbeis is valuable for lethargic people who have trouble thinking straight. Physical symptoms indicating a need for Berberis is dry mucous membranes, pallor and sunken eyes. Also, symptoms change rapidly – pains change in regard to place and character – thirst alternates with thirstlessness, hunger, and loss of appetite, pain moves or radiates. Pallor and sunken eyes are commonly associated with disorders of the kidney. Berberis is used to treat kidney and bladder problems accompanied by pain. The pain is sharp and deep, radiating outward. It is also used to treat gallbladder pain, low back pain and other joint pain (especially for gout and arthritis).