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Daruharidra – Berberis aristata – Qualities, Benefits, Dose, Ayurvedic Details

Daruharidra – Berberis aristata is used in Ayurveda to treat eye disorders, skin disorders with itching, diabetes, urinary tract diseases, etc. This is found in Himalaya and Nepal region.

Botanical name – Berberis aristata Dc.,
Family – Berberidaceae

Names in different language: 
English name – Indian berberi
Hindi name – Daru Haldi
Tamil name – Mara Manjal
Bangali name – Daruharidra
Punjabi name – Daru Haldi
Marathi name – Daruhalad
Gujarati name – Daru Haldar
Telugu name – Kasturipushpa
Farsi name – Darchoba

Sanskrit Synonyms:
Darunisha, Peeta, Daruharidra, Darvi, Peetadru, Peetachandana, Hemakanti, Kashta Rajani, Peetaka, Peetahva, Hemakanta,Hemavarnavati, – All these synonyms explain about turmeric-like yellow coloured stem.
Katankati, Katankateri, Parjanya,  Pachampacha,   Kusumbhaka,

Classical categorization:
Darvi is included under many group of herbs as follows –
Arshoghna – group of herbs, used to treat hemorrhoids
Kandughna – group of herbs, used to treat itching
Lekhaniya – group of herbs that has scraping, cholesterol reducing quality

Charaka has mentioned this as one of the herbs used in powder massage, useful in pruritis, acne and urticaria.(Reference: Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 3rd chapter)
Sushruta and Vagbhata – Haridradi, Mustadi, Lakshadi

In South India, especially in Kerala, Coscinium fenestratum, Menispermaceae, is used in the name of Daru Haridra – Tree Turmeric (stem) – Berberis aristata.

Chemical composition
The root bark of Berberis aristata contains berberine, quaternary ammonium salt of isoquinoline alkaloid. Berberine has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral andantioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-diabetic activities. Read more

Cocsinium fenestratum – Has anti oxidants, that are found to be useful in diabetes. read more

Daruharidra Medicinal qualities:
Rasa (Taste) – Tkta, Kashaya – Bitter, Astringent
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (light to digest), Rooksha (Dryness)
Vipaka (Taste conversion after digestion) – Katu (pungent)
Veerya – Hot potency
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Pitta Dosha. 

Berberis aristata uses

Berberis aristata uses –
The qualities and usage of Daru haridra is quite similar to benefits of turmeric
Vranajit – quick wound healing
Mehajit – useful in diabetes and urinary tract diseases
karnanetramukharogas – useful in the treatment of pain and itching related disorders related to eyes, ears and oral cavity.
Shophahara – anti inflammatory
Kandu kushtahara – relieves skin diseases with itching
Visarpahara – useful in herpes
Vishahara – anti toxic
Kapha, Abhishyandi hara – has drying quality, relieves moisture, (as in wound healing).
It is used in menorraghia and leucorrhea (white discharge) It helps to relieve spasmoidic pain of abdomen.
It is used in treating diarrhea.

External application:
Its paste, made with water is applied externally to relieve pain and inflammation. Its filtered decoction (Kashaya) is used to wash eyes to relieve pain, swelling and inflammation.
Its decoction is used for gargling to relieve improve voice and throat infection.
Its paste is applied over non heaing wounds, syphilis ulcers, fistula for quick healing.

Part used: root, stem, fruit, water extract.
Its water extract is called as Rasanjana, used in eye disorders with infection and inflammation.
Dose: Decoction – 15 – 60 ml in divided dose.

Antidiarrhea and anti-spasmoidic acitivity
Anti-mcirobial activity
Hypoglycemic activity
Anti-diabetic activity

Important medicines
Maha Manjishtadi Kashayam – used in treatment of skin diseases.
Maha Yogaraja Guggul – used in joint diseases, skin diseases, piles, sprue, diabetes, etc
Darvyadi Kwath –  used in the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding with pain, leucorrhoea etc.
Khadiradi Vati – used in Ayurvedic treatment of bad breath, oral ulcers, diseases of teeth etc.

Question: Is Daruharidra(Beriberis aristata/Coscinium fenestratum) and Curcuma aromatica(kasturi pasupu/turmeric) same?I knew Curcuma longa(long,thin rhizomes) and Curcuma amada (short and bigger comparitively). I got confused after having read some of the articles-Daruharidra as Tree turmeric and Curcuma aromatica(kasturi manjal/pasupu) as vana haridra.Transliteration of vana haridra is Tree turmeric approximately i think.Kindly clarify.
.If Daruharidra is different from the above three, is Darvi powder or rhizomes available here in ayurvedic shops.Kindly tell me what Daruharidra in Telugu called?
Answer: Daru Haridra is Berberis aristata and it is different from Curcuma aromatica. Curcuma aromatica is nowhere used in place of Daru Haridra. Its Telugu name is – Manupasupu
Curcuma aromatica is – Vana Haridra.

Daruharidra as dusting powder:
Charaka explained Berberis aristata as one among Avachurnana dravya, along with herbs like Kushta, Musta, Vidanga, Sarjarasa, Lodhra etc. The body of the patient is smeared with sesame oil. Then the body is dusted with the above powder mix. Dusting process is called Avachurnana.
It relieves Kitibha –  ringworm, Kandu – pruritis, Pama – keloids, Vicharchika – Eczema. Reference: (Charaka Sutrasthana 5th chapter)

दार्वी रसाञ्जनं वा गोमूत्रेण प्रबाधते कुष्ठम्|
dārvī rasāñjanaṃ vā gomūtreṇa prabādhate kuṣṭham| Charaka Chikitsa 7/61
Rasanjana (aqueous extract of Daruharidra) with Gomutra is administered for the treatment of Kushta – skin diseases.

Tree turmeric with Amla  – Daruharidra along with the juice of Amalaki – Phyllanthus emblica mixed with honey is useful in curing Paittika type of Dysuria. – Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 26/53

Daru Haridra side effects:
Because it can lower sugar levels, people with diabetes should use this under medical supervision.
It can be used in children and during lactation.
Seek medical advice to use during pregnancy.

Darvi Rasakriya: 
स्वरसः क्वथितो दार्व्या घनीभूतो रसक्रिया|
सक्षौद्रा मुखरोगासृग्दोष नाडीव्रणापहा||२०२||
svarasaḥ kvathito dārvyā ghanībhūto rasakriyā|
sakṣaudrā mukharogāsṛgdoṣa nāḍīvraṇāpahā||202|| Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 26

The juice of decoction of Daru- Haridra (berberis aristata) is boiled in order to make it thick which is called Rasa-Kriya. Use of this with honey cures mouth- diseases, diseases caused by the vitiation of blood and Nadi- Vrana (sinus).

Dr JV Hebbar B.A.M.S, MD (Ayu), is an Ayurveda Doctor. Click here to consult Dr Hebbar
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  1. Sir, I want to know if there are any ayurvedic preparations or drugs which act at the harmonal level?

  2. Can you please tell if below names refers to the same plant mentioned in the article?
    Coscinium fenestratum (Gaertn.) Colebr. [= Menispermum fenestratum Gaertn.]
    Vernacular names: Hindi – Jhar-i-haldi; Sanskrit – Daru-haridra; Tamil – Mara-manjal.
    Trade names: Tree turmeric

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, Coscinium fenestratum is used in the name of Daruharidra in south India. Both Berberis aristata and C. fenestratum have similar medicinal properties.

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