Traditionally is used for digestive disorders.
Active compound berberine. The study of berberine found that it can inhibit bacteria growth in test tubes, and it may also boost the immune system's performance. Berberine mobilizes immune cells to find and destroy pathogens. Berberine is an alkaloid, has bitter taste.
Alkaloids have high antipathogenic activity, astringent, antifungal. Plants produce alkaloids for their own needs, in different forms and alkaloids are harmless to plans.
Barberry contains a wide range of other compounds apart from alkaloids By the way caffeine from coffee is also an alkaloid, and when isolated from coffee can be very dangerous and harmful.
It is usually required a skilful knowledge and often experience for application of plants which contain alkaloids. Some alkaloids containing herbs are not dangerous and some are extremely dangerous.
Bitter digestive herbs such as barberry can improve production of digestive juices, digestion in general and extraction of valuable nutritional compounds from foods, thus that will leave less nutritional compounds for pathogenic microbiota and therefore can support lifespan of beneficial bacteria in the gut.