Thursday, May 23, 2024

Barberry; A Healing Plant Since 2,500 Years Ago

Barberry, also known as berberis, is a plant with lots of medical features used in many Iranian dishes, desserts and drinks. Medicines made of barberry have been used for 2,500 years for treating various diseases.

The red Barberry enjoys a high number of therapeutic features including restricting bacteria’s power to stick to human cells and fighting off various infection diseases.

what is barberry plant?

Barberry is used to alleviate a wide range of inflammation and infections. The plant plays a key role in treating urinary tract infection, gastroenteritis, sore throat, decongestant, sinusitis and bronchitis.

Barberry is highly helpful in balancing our blood sugar level. It also contributes to treating high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia and other related heart problems.

Barberry Harvest in South Khorasan Province
Barberry Harvest in South Khorasan Province

Among other features of the plant, one can also refer to its contribution to liver and gallbladder cleansing. It helps gallbladder’s operation and serves as a mild laxative regulating the absorption of food.

The helpful plant can be used in a number of ways. Iranians use it in their dishes. They also drink it as barberry juice. Barberry herbal tea is also highly popular among some Iranians.

Read more: Germany, Top Customer of Iran’s Barberry

How to Make Barberry Jam

Below, you can get familiar with the recipe of barberry jam which is both delicious and medically helpful.

Barberry; A Healing Plant Since 2,500 Years Ago

Ingredients for Barberry Jam

Fresh barberry: 1 kg

Sugar: 1,200 g

Vanilla: Half a teaspoon

Citric acid: A teaspoon

Lukewarm water: About one litre

Recipe for Barberry Jam

First wash the barberries and then place them in an appropriate dish. Then fill the dish with cold water so that the barberries are fully covered with water. Hold them there for two to three hours so that their dusts are settled completely.

Rinse off and wash them again steadily. Then add 200 grams of sugar to the dish and put the dish for 5 to 6 hours or even one day in the refrigerator so that the barberries become tasty and juicy.


Then grind the remaining sugar and then mix it with one litre of lukewarm water as well as barberry juice. Pour the final solution into an enameled dish and put it in the oven and warm it in moderate heat so that the solution begins to boil. Now, add the citric acid. Pay attention to the degree of the heat because barberries burn easily.

Pour the remaining barberries into the solution. Never mix the jam with a spoon. Every so often mix it by moving the enameled dish. After a while add the vanilla.

Remove the bubbles with a steel spoon. Turn off the oven when the jam begins to get firm. Now, expose the jam to fresh air for a while and then pour it into your appropriate dish and keep in the refrigerator.

Unlike other jams, barberry jam can’t be eaten immediately. You have to keep it in the refrigerator for about two to three days before eating.

Dried Barberry-Iran is the main producer of Red Dried Barberry and it calls “Zereshk” in Persian.

Additional Points of Barberry Jam:

1. If after cooking, barberries keep their shape and are not crushed, your jam will look much better. To make sure barberries keep their shape, it would be better to avoid stirring the mixture too much and let it thicken on low heat.

2. You may not like your jam to taste of vanilla when you eat it. To address this problem, you can avoid vanilla as an ingredient altogether, or replace it with another ingredient such as Cardamom seeds to give the jam a better aroma and taste.

3. To know whether your jam is thick enough, take a spoonful of the jam honey and let it cool. Now test its thickness between two fingers. If the honey stretches between your fingers, it means it is adequately thick.

Barberry Harvest

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why sugar crystals form on the jam?

If, during the cooking and preparation process of the jam, there is a misbalance in the level of pH or invert sugar, the product will form sugar crystals some time after cooking. During the cooking process, one should add a table spoonful of vinegar or lemon juice to the jam to avoid invert sugar on sweet fruit jams.

2. Why is the jam dark-colored?

As the jam is prepared from fruit, it will oxidize and change color when exposed to fresh air and the jam will lose some of its nutrients. Therefore, to make sure your jam remains fresh, it would be better to keep it at normal room temperature in a sealed glass container. A temperature of 25 degrees centigrade, away from direct sunlight, would be appropriate for storing jam containers. Keeping the jam refrigerated also helps avoid the dark color. This also helps reduce exposure to light, which darkens the jam over long periods of time.


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