What are your concerns?

Hard to understand


Or copy link


Oregon Grape

Uses|Precautions & Warnings|Side Effects|Interactions|Dosage


Disclaimer: this drug or supplement is not currently available for sale or use in the Philippines. The information provided here is for informational purposes only.

What is Oregon Grape used for?

Oregon grape is the fruit from the Mahonia aquifolium or Berberis aquifolium shrubs that is found in northern and coastal states of America. It is also the state flower of Oregon. While the shrub is generally utilized as an ornamental plant, the flowers, berries, leaves, and roots have traditionally been used by Native American tribes as food and medicine.

The fruit or berries can be eaten raw, cooked, or preserved as a jelly or dried fruit, akin to blackberries or blackcurrants. The flowers are edible and can be used as a decoration or drink infusion. Most of the medicinal properties are derived from the roots and leaves, due to the presence of berberine.

Berberine is a yellow-colored alkaloid that has possible therapeutic use in metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemias, and cancer. It is also used as a dye for coloring textiles.

Oregon grape has the following properties:

  • Antimicrobial (against bacteria, fungi, parasitic worms, and viruses)
  • Treatment for syphilis
  • Protects against cholera and E. coli enterotoxins
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Stimulates bile acid secretion
  • Reduces blood cholesterol and lipids
  • Antidiabetic and insulin sensitizer
  • Anticancer and antitumorigenic
  • Weight-loss supplement

How should I take Oregon grape?

Oregon grape is commercially available as food products, extracts, and capsules. The liquid extract and capsule preparations typically are made from the root part of the plant.

Take or apply medications that contain Oregon grape as directed on the product label or by a doctor.

How do I store Oregon grape?

This drug should be stored at room temperature (<30°C) and be protected from light and moisture. Do not allow this product to freeze. Always check the label before using this product. For safety, keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Do not use if the printed expiration date has passed, the product seal has been broken, or the product has changed in color, odor, or consistency.

Do not dispose of this product by pouring it down the drain, toilet, or into the environment. Ask your pharmacist regarding the proper way and location of disposal.

Precautions & Warnings

What should I know before using Oregon grape?

Herbal supplements are generally safe to take in moderate amounts as directed by a health professional. However, because most herb and food supplements are not approved by the FDA for treating and preventing specific diseases, recommended daily values are not always established.

Despite being advertised as “all-natural” or “safe,” natural or food supplements must be treated as conventional medication. Certain herbal preparations can interact with other medications you are taking, increasing the risk of adverse drug reactions and toxicity.

Before using this medication, inform your doctor if:

  • You have ever had an allergic reaction to Oregon grape or other supplements.
  • You have a history of allergy to other medications, food, or other substances.
  • You are taking other medications.
  • You have underlying health conditions.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There is insufficient data regarding the use and safety of this supplement during pregnancy. This drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus, as determined by your doctor.

This supplement is not likely excreted in breast milk. This drug should be used while breastfeeding only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the child, as determined by your doctor.

Side Effects

What side effects can occur from Oregon grape?

All drugs have the potential to elicit side effects even with normal use. Many side effects are dose-related and will resolve when it is adjusted or at the end of therapy.

Potential side effects while using this drug include:

  • Gastrointestinal discomfort

You may experience some, none, or other side effects not mentioned above. If you have any concerns about a side effect or it becomes bothersome, consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Oregon grape?

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and inform your doctor and pharmacist.

The liquid extract preparation of this medication may contain alcohol. Avoid taking the following together with this preparation:

  • Antihistamines
  • Sedatives
  • CNS depressants

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, stop taking this drug and continue taking your other medication. Inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Your dose may need to be adjusted, substituted with another drug, or discontinue using the drug.

Does food or alcohol interact with Oregon grape?

This medication may be taken with or without food. If you experience any gastrointestinal discomfort, taking this medication with meals may prevent this symptom. The liquid extract preparation of this medication may contain alcohol so alcohol consumption should be limited to prevent intoxication, especially in children or adults who may operate machinery.

Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns regarding food-drug interactions.

What health conditions may interact with Oregon grape?

This drug should be taken with caution if you have any of the following conditions or risk factors:

  • Allergy to any of the ingredients

Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns regarding specific health conditions.


The information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using Oregon grape products.

What is the dose of Oregon grape for an adult?

The recommended dosage of this drug has not been established for treating any specific disease or condition. Consult a doctor for the appropriate indication and dosage.

What is the dose of Oregon grape for a child?

This drug is not recommended for use in children and the recommended dose has not been established. Consult a doctor or pharmacist for alternatives and more information.

How is Oregon grape available?

This drug is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Liquid root extract
  • Powdered root extract in capsules

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of this drug, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Mahonia aquifolium, https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mahonia+aquifolium, Accessed Aug 10, 2020 Mahonia aquifolium, https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=maaq2, Accessed Aug 10, 2020 Oregon Grape, https://oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/oregon_grape/#.XyscLCgzZhE, Accessed Aug 10, 2020
Natural Products and Drug Discovery: An Integrated Approach, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780081020814000174, Accessed Aug 10, 2020
Picture of the authorbadge
Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Aug 11, 2020