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The agracejo Zarzosa is a shrub that can reach almost three meters high. It belongs to the family of berberidáceas, comprising not more than 150 species, divided by countries in temperate climates. It is a plant widely on the slopes of hills and mountains of the Iberian Peninsula, with especially abundant in the mountain ranges that separate Valencia and Aragon in the Serrania de Cuenca, curiously, westward their presence is becoming increasingly scarce and Portugal is just.

The plant blooms in May and June. Interested in the root (bark) leaves and fruit. Once the bark torn off, it is cleaned, dried in the sun - even - and removes residual moisture in drying, at temperatures not exceeding 50 º C.

The whole plant, except for the fruit contains a high percentage of alkaloids. The most abundant is the berberina, along with the berbamina and magnoflorina. In the fruits are different sugars, citric acid, tartaric and rubber. The alkaloids from the plant are potentially toxic and therefore we must exercise caution when using this plant.

Berberina is the tonic of a bitter taste with snacks and colerética important actions, the other alkaloids have also hypotensive action, and anti colagogas; fruits are refreshing and have a small power laxative. Can be consumed fresh, canned or dried. Structurally, the berberina is similar to morphine, the drug's largest opium - and actions that exercises are similar, although not the same.

Dioscorides not tried this plant, either because they do not find on their long journeys, either because they felt the lack of therapeutic interest, but it is described by other authors who gave him antipiréticas properties.

Decoction: 50 gr. agracejo sheets in a liter of water is kept a few minutes and cool. You can drink during the day, referring to the fever. It also can be used as intestinal refreshing, preparing the infusion of the same form and with the same dosage.

Extract fluid: It is no use if it is not under medical prescription. The doses are approximately 10 - 15 drops 2 times a day, although it is the doctor who should be dosed. In the same way we can find the dry.

Syrup: With ripe fruit syrup is preparing a refreshing taste of bittersweet. It pressed for the ripe fruit to extract all the juice; Slips and is added to the other side of the juice 2 parts sugar. Is bottled and stored in a cool place for 2 weeks, stirring occasionally. With this syrup can be prepared for an exquisite refreshments attractive red color.

Colerética. Antipyretic. Laxative.

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