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Know Your Remedies: Berberis Vulgaris (Berb.)


Common Names: Barberry.

General Information

Berberis Vulgaris (Berb.) is an important remedy for neuralgic pain or colic of any part of the body but especially the joints and muscles and the urinary system. The mucous membranes tend to be dry and saliva thick and sticky. Sharp twinging, stitching, shooting or radiating pains caused by cystitis, kidney stones and types of arthritis are rapidly relieved by this remedy. It enables the passage of kidney stones with much reduced colic.


  • Low back pain or sciatica with the keynote symptoms of twinging, shooting or radiating pains.
  • Pain, stiffness and lameness of small of back so that rising from sitting is almost impossible – the person has to push themselves up with their hands.


  • Kidney stones with sharp pains that radiate or extend downwards.
  • Renal colic with radiating pain.
  • Bubbling or gurgling sensations in the region of the kidney.


  • Cystitis with radiating pain before and after urination.


  • Sudden twinges or stitching pain.
  • Wandering arthritic pain that moves from joint to joint.
  • Pain from sciatica or renal colic that radiates down the legs.
  • Arthritis or gout with sudden, sharp, radiating pain.

Where do I find it?

Berberis Vulgaris (Berb.) is available from our online store as a single remedy in either pills or liquid, and as part of the following Complex (combination remedy): Renal Stone Colic.


While above self-limiting or acute complaints are suitable for home treatment also contact your healthcare provider during emergency situations or if symptoms worsen or fail to improve. Chronic or persistent complaints, which may or may not be mentioned above, require a different treatment and dosage protocol so are best managed by a qualified homeopath for good results.

Dosage Instructions (suitable for babies to adults)

For the home treatment of acute and self-limiting complaints take one pill or five drops of the remedy every 1 minute to 4 hours (1 minute for intense or emergency symptoms (plus seek emergency help), 4 hours for milder ones). Once an improvement is noticed, stop dosing and repeat the remedy only if symptoms return. If there is no improvement at all by three doses, choose a different remedy or seek professional guidance.

Note: Chronic symptoms or complaints require a course of professional treatment by a qualified homeopath to manage the changes in potencies and remedies that may be required.

More Information

Guidelines on which potency to use

From Past Masters

Homeopathy is a 200-year system of medicine. Early medical homeopaths recorded initial provings, remedy relationships, and their early experiences with each remedy in great detail.

These writings were then shared with others to advance homeopathic knowledge and practice.

Today, these same writings give a fascinating insight into the symptoms and clinical conditions for which each remedy was used.

The following extract, with minor editing, is one example.

Leaders In Homoeopathic Therapeutics by E. B. NASH M.D.

Berberis vulgaris (Berb.)

Bruised pain, with numbness, stiffness and lameness in region of kidneys < in bed in the morning.

Soreness in the region of the kidneys; bubbling sensation, < stepping or jarring motion.

Rheumatism or pains, like gouty pains in the joints; the pains radiate from a center.

* * * * *

“Bruised pain, with stiffness and lameness in the small of the back.” “Rise from a seat with difficulty.” “Backache worse when sitting or lying, especially when lying in bed in the morning.” “Sensation of numbness, stiffness and lameness, with painful pressure in lumbar and renal regions.” These pains sometimes extend all through the hips.

Guernsey says: “A great many old troubles in the back. Sufferings in the back aggravated by fatigue.”

One might say all these symptoms are found under Rhus tox. True, but in the Berberis cases they all come from or are in connection with kidney or urinary troubles, Rhus tox. seldom so.

The pains extend often into the bladder and urethra, and the urine itself is changed. It may have a turbid, flocculent, clay-like, copious, mucous sediment, or a reddish, mealy sediment, or be blood-red, but the persistent pains in the back are the leading indications.

It is especially to be thought of in arthritic and rheumatic affections, when these back symptoms connected with urinary alterations are present.

One very characteristic symptom is a bubbling sensation in the region of the kidneys. Another is soreness in region of kidneys when jumping out of a wagon or stepping hard downstairs or from any jarring movement.

There is almost always, in the back troubles of Berberis a great deal of prostration or a sense of weakness across the back, and the face looks pale, earthy complexion, with sunken cheeks and hollow eyes, with blue circles under them.

No matter what ails the patient, if he has persistent pain as above described in the region of the kidneys do not forget Berberis.