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Daruharidra : Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

By NS Desk | Herbs | Posted on :   06-Nov-2020

Daruharidra, known as Indian barberry or Tree Turmeric, is popular since ancient times as ayurvedic medicine in the ailment of many diseases and health problems. The yellow or brown woody plant is mostly found growing in Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and some parts of Europe and America. For centuries this medicinal herb has been used to treat different health problems and diseases, making it one of the most important medicines in Indian Ayurvedic care. Daruharidra fruit and stem are most commonly used for their extraordinary medicinal properties. The stem is brownish and is consumed as a powder, tablet, or kwath. Daruharidra fruit is extremely rich in Vitamin C and can be consumed as it is.

What are the Other Names for Daruharidra?

Daruharidra or Indian Burberry is known by different names in different parts of the world. Tree Turmeric is its most commonly used name. It is also known as Berberis aristata, Indian beriberi, Daru Haldi, Mara manjal, Kasturipushpa, Darchoba, Maramannal, Sumalu, Darhald, etc.

Ayurvedic Properties of the Daruharidra Plant

Ayurveda classifies any substance based on five criteria, Rasa or Taste, Guna or Physical Property, Virya or Potency, Karma or Pharmacological activity, and Vipaka or metabolic property. Daruharidra plants, full of benefits, possess the following properties as per Ayurveda:

  • Rasa / Taste: Tikta, Kashaya / Bitter, Astringent.
  • Guna / Qualities: Laghu, Rooksha / light for digestion, dry.
  • Vipaka / After digestion taste:  Katu / pungent.
  • Virya / Potency: Ushna / Hot
  • Karma / Pharmacological property: Balances Kapha / water and earth and Pitta/fire and water dosha.

Historical Uses of Daruharidra

In the past, this medicinal herb was predominantly used to treat various diseases and health conditions, some of which are acne, psoriasis, jaundice, liver disorders, diabetes, and even heavy menstrual flow.

Since ancient times, Daruharidra is considered useful for treating skin diseases like inflammation and psoriasis. Acne growth is also hindered and prevented due to the anti-inflammation and anti-bacterial properties of the plant. Ayurveda suggests that applying Daruharidra powder paste mixed with rose water provides relief the inflammation and reduces acne. Daruharidra also treated burns and wounds as it contains some Ropan or healing properties.

Many Ayurvedic experts believed that Daruharidra maintains the liver enzyme because of Vata and Pitta controlling activity and fighting against liver disorder. The Kapha property of the Daruharidra was used for the ailment of many abdominal disorders.

Ayurveda also used Daruharidra for managing diarrhea and heavy menstrual flow. Diarrhea was cured by using Daruharidra as it is full of digestive benefits. Kashaya, or astringent property of Daruharidra, was also used for regulating menstrual flow in women as per Ayurveda.

It was believed that Daruharidra has 'Ushna' or hot potency, which improves digestive health and enhances the metabolism of the body. The blood sugar level due to the potency of the medicine is regulated in the body, and hence it was considered useful for diabetic patients.

'Ama,' which is the toxin in our body, was also reduced with the help of Darharidra as per ancient texts.

Benefits of Using Daruharidra in Various Treatments

Many studies conducted till now have shown the beneficial effects of Daruharidra in several ways. Be it a low-risk or high-risk disease, Daruharidra has been acting as a catalyst in treating these diseases. It also acts as a blessing for the treatment and ailment of many diseases and health problems like jaundice, conjunctivitis, acne, heart disease, etc. Here are some of the wonderful uses of Daruharidra:

Medicine for Liver Disease
Modern science claims Daruharidra is a cure for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD. Berberine present in Daruharidra is responsible for lowering the triglycerides level and reducing the liver enzyme ALT and AST in the blood. Insulin resistance and fatty liver are controlled with the consumption of Darharidra. Adding to this, the antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties of Daruharidra prevents liver cell damage.

Helps in the Treatment of Jaundice
Jaundice is a liver disease. Since Daruharidra is prosperous with antioxidant and liver-protective properties, it is also proven beneficial for managing jaundice.

Acts as an Ailment in Malaria
The malarial parasite or plasmodium is responsible for the disease of Malaria. Darharidra bark is rich in anti-plasmodial and anti-malarial activity. The growth of the malarial parasite is hindered and reduced by the consumption of Daruharidra bark, either in the form of a capsule, powder,  or tablet.

Regulates Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
According to Ayurveda, heavy menstrual bleeding or excessive secretion of blood during menstruation is regulated with the consumption of Daruharidra. The astringent or Kashaya properties of the plant help in the regulation of blood. It is advisable to take ¼ - ½ teaspoon of Daruharidra powder with milk or honey to control the heavy bleeding during menstruation. 

Beneficial in Case of Managing Heart Failure
Modern scientist claims that Daruharidra might be considered beneficial in managing heart failure causes and symptoms.

Treating Diseases/Health Problems Using Daruharidra
Below are some scientific and Ayurveda claims about the use of Daruharidra in curing and treating health problems:

Ayurveda: Any fluctuation in Vata Dosha is the cause of diarrhea in a person. The enhanced Vata dosha in our body mixes the stool and the intestinal fluid. Diarrhea controls the Ushna of the stomach and reduces the motion. Hence, the Vata-controlling properties of Daruharidra cure diarrhea.

Science: Many scientific experiments have proven the benefits of Daruharidra in curing diarrhea. Anti-microbial properties hinder diarrhea pathogen growth, which results in its treatment of it. Daruharidra powder mixed with honey should be consumed after having food to control diarrhea.

Skin Burns
Ropan or the Healing property of Daruharidra works for curing burns and reducing inflammation. It should be applied directly to the affected area, or a paste with honey also works in healing the burn quickly.

Science: Daruharidra has good anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, which are proven beneficial for burn management. The infection is due to burning and the wound is also healed by applying Daruharidra paste to the affected area.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Ayurveda: Inflammatory bowel disorder is caused due to Panchak Agni or digestive fire imbalance. Daruharidra improves digestion and reduces abdominal fire. As a result, inflammatory bowel disease is managed with the help of the herb.

Science: Inflammatory bowel disease is a disorder in which intestinal epithelial cells are damaged. Daruharidra contains berberine, making it an anti-inflammatory agent that hinders the inflammatory mediator release. Hence, the damage happening to the intestinal epithelial cells is reduced, helping in the ailment of Inflammatory bowel disease.

Urinary Disorders
Ayurveda: Diseases like urine retention, renal stone, infection, or inflammation are managed with Daruharidra. All urinary disorders are generally a result of kapha and pitta dosha in the body. Vata and Pitta balancing the property of Daruharidra enhance urine production and hence remove the body toxins.

Science: Daruharidra helps in the management of urinary disorders with its berberine element. Berberine contains antioxidants that act as a shield against free radicals hence preventing kidney damage. This is also known as the neuroprotective activity of the herb. Blood urea, nitrogen, and urinary protein extraction by the kidney are also managed with the consumption of Daruharidra.

Eye Disease
Ayurveda: The imbalance of Pitta dosha is responsible for the infection, itching, and irritation in the eyes. Ayurvedic claims that the Pitta balancing properties of Daruharidra prevent eye disease and help manage the health of the eye. 

Science: As per modern science, Daruharidra can be used to manage eye problems like conjunctivitis and infections. The anti-microbial and antioxidant properties of the Daruharidra root shield against free radicals. It also prevents eye lens damage and cataract problems.

Ayurveda: The body with Kapha and Pitta dosha is more susceptible to acne and pimples. Ayurveda states that an increase in Kapha results in sebum production and hence forms white and blackheads. On the other hand, Pitta dosha causes bumps on the skin. Kapha and Pitta balancing property of Daruharidra cleanses the skin and reduces inflammation controlling acne on the skin.

Science: The excellent anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of Daruharidra help in reducing acne. It prevents the growth of acne-causing and pus-forming bacteria. It also reduces inflammation in the skin, which is caused by acne.

Forms of Daruharidra in Ayurveda with Recommended Dosage

Daruharidra in the Ayurvedic treatment is used in tablets, powder, or capsule form. Each of these forms of Daruharidra can create different types of herbal tonics or can be applied externally on the affected area to treat the disorder or disease.
If you have not consulted with your doctor regarding the dosage amount for each Daruharidra form, you can then follow these dosage recommendations:

For Internal Consumption

  • Daruharidra Churna or powder: ¼ or ½ teaspoon of Daruharidra should be consumed either with milk or honey after lunch and dinner.
  • Daruharidra Tablet: Swallow 1-2 tablets of Daruharidra with honey or water after the meal, twice daily.
  • Daruharidra Capsules: 1-2 capsules twice a day, with water or honey, is advisable after the meal.
  • Daruharidra Kwath: Take ¼ or ½ teaspoon of Daruharidra powder added to 2 cups of water. Boil the contents to reduce the quantity to half. Filter the Kwath and consume 2-4 teaspoons of the same with water. Drink the same before a meal, just once a day.

In case you have consulted with a doctor, it is advised to stick to their recommended prescriptions.

External Application
Daruharidra powder: Mix ¼ - 1 teaspoon of Daruharidra powder with rose water to make a paste. Apply the same on the affected area for 2-4 hours for quick healing of inflammation, burn, or acne.

Types of Ayurvedic Care with Daruharidra

Daruharidra Powder: Daruharidra is available in powder form, taken from the roots to prevent or lower the risk of many diseases like diabetes and skin problems.


  • As prescribed by your doctor, you can mix the Daruharidra root powder in milk, warm water, or honey.
  • You can use the Daruharidra powder to make Daruharidra kwath.

Daruharidra Kwath: Daruharidra's roots or powder can be taken in tea or kwath in curing ailments like digestive issues, jaundice, diarrhea, etc.


  • Boil 2 cups of water in a pan.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of Daruharidra root powder.
  • Let it mix completely in water.
  • Boil till the mixture reduces to half.
  • Take 1-2 teaspoons of the same and mix in warm water.
  • Drink one cup every day before a meal.

Daruharidra powder with honey: Daruharidra powder is consumed with honey after lunch or dinner. The combination of both helps in curing urinal disorders, digestive ailments, etc.

Take ¼ or ½ teaspoon of Daruharidra powder with 1 teaspoon of honey.

Daruharidra Tablets: Daruharidra tablets are also available for consumption in treating the health conditions mentioned above.

Take one tablet of Daruharidra mixed with warm water or honey after lunch and dinner, twice a day, or as prescribed by your doctor.

Daruharidra Capsules: The Daruharidra is also available in capsule form, which you can take with warm water or honey, one each after lunch and dinner.

Mix with warm water or honey. You can even add ginger, and honey to satiate your taste buds. However, it is not advised to take more than 2 doses of these capsules unless prescribed by your doctor.

Precautionary Guide While Using Daruharidra?

For Diabetic Patients

View of Ayurvedic experts: Daruharidra is responsible for lowering the blood sugar level subsequently. Hence, it is highly advisable to update the blood sugar level if you are using Daruharidra, that too, with an anti-diabetic drug.

For Pregnant Women

View of Ayurvedic Experts: Pregnancy calls for extra care and precautions. Daruharidra is high in Ushna or hot potency. Hence, it is advisable to consult the doctor before consuming Daruharidra during pregnancy.

View of Scientific Experts: According to scientific experts, berberine in Daru Haridra can damage the fetus. Hence, the consumption of Daruharidra is not advisable for pregnant women. It is strongly advisable to consult the doctor before consuming Daruharidra.

For Allergic patients or persons with highly sensitive skin

View of Ayurvedic Experts: According to Ayurvedic experts, Daruharidra is very hot in potency, which is also known as Ushna. So, a person with highly sensitive skin or skin prone to allergy should apply the Daruharidra powder with milk or rose water.

For Breastfeeding Women

View of Scientific Experts: According to scientific experts, Daruharidra contains berberine, which may cause brain damage to infants or newborns, and many cause jaundice as well. Hence, the consumption of Daruharidra is not advisable for breastfeeding women. The berberine in Daruharidra can be transferred to the infant with the milk, which in turn can be proved harmful for a newborn infant. It is strongly advisable to consult the doctor before consuming Daruharidra.

FAQs about Daruharidra

Q. What are the different elements of Daruharidra?
According to science experts, Daruharidra fruits are rich in Vitamin C, and roots and bark are extremely rich in berberine and isoquinoline alkaloids. Anti-microbial, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory properties come from these elements present in Daruharidra.

Q. Can I get Daruharidra powder in the market?
Daruharidra powder is available in the market, both online and in ayurvedic medical stores.

Q. Is it safe to take Daruharidra with the lipid-lowering drug?
According to science experts, monitoring blood cholesterol levels is highly advisable if you use Daruharidra with any lipid-lowering drug. The lowering of cholesterol levels can be done with the help of Daruharidra. LDL and bad cholesterol also decrease with the intake of Daruharidra.

Q. How is Daruharidra helpful for diabetic patients?
Science experts: Science experts claim that the use of Daruharidra helps in lowering the blood glucose level due to the Berberine content in it. Inhibiting glucose formation during gluconeogenesis also works wonders for diabetic patients. Daruharidra, additionally, helps in decreasing the glucose level and enhances insulin sensitivity in the blood. It is also beneficial for glucose uptake by the cells and tissues. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Daruharidra together reduce diabetic risk.

Ayurvedic experts: Daruharidra is popularly known for enhancing the body's metabolism, which, in turn, manages the blood sugar level. The Ushna or hot nature of the medicine helps in reducing the Ama or toxin contents of the body.

Q. Can Daruharidra help with weight loss?
Science experts: Yes, the use of Daruharidra can help reduce weight as berberine impedes the formation of fat cells in the body.

Ayurvedic experts: Daruharidra improves body metabolism and hence helps in weight loss. Ushna, or the hot property of the herb, removes the excess fat from the body. Ama or toxins are also drastically reduced, leading to weight loss.

Q. How is Daruharidra beneficial for the skin?
Science experts: Psoriasis and inflammation on the skin can be cured by Daruharidra because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-psoriatic properties. As per scientific studies, inflammation and dryness also reduce substantially by applying Daruharidra paste on the skin.

Ayurvedic experts: Ayurveda suggests that skin problems like itching, irritation, infection, or inflammation are cured by Daruharidra due to its Ropan (healing), Kashaya(Astringent), and Pitta- Kapha balancing properties.

Q. Is Daruharidra helpful for the treatment of abdominal disorders?
Science experts: Berberine present in Daruharidra acts as a tonic for the abdomen. Resultantly, it cures abdominal issues by enhancing the appetite and managing digestion.

Ayurvedic experts: Pitta dosha in our body is the main cause of abdominal disorders like indigestion and appetite loss. Deepan or appetizing and Pachan or digestion properties of the herb manage the disorders and enhance the appetite.

Q. Does Daruharidra cure fever?
Daruharidra is used for curing fever as per Ayurveda; however, modern scientific claims do not hold any specific evidence for the same.

(Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or ayurvedic doctor.)

NS Desk

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Disclaimer - The aim of the article is just to convey information to you. Use any medicine, therapy, herb or fruit please do it under the guidance of a qualified Ayurveda doctor.