Some berberis species are known as Barberry and used for herbal medicine. Barberry contains the alkaloid berberine.

Berberis the barberries or pepperidge bushes, is a genus of about 450-500 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs from 1-5 m tall with thorny shoots, native to the temperate and subtropical regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and South America. They are closely related to the genus Mahonia, which is included within Berberis by some botanists. Species diversity is in South America, Africa and Asia; Europe has a few species, and North America only two.