Oregon Grape, Berberine for Aquarium Fish Treatment
Berberine is a plant based alkaloid that has been used medicinally for a long time in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.
The Berberine alkaloid is present many plants including: Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal), Coptis chinensis (Coptis or goldenthread), Berberis vulgaris (barberry), Berberis aristata (tree turmeric), and most notably Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape).
The berberine alkaloid is generally found in the roots, rhizomes, and stem bark of the plants.
Berberine extracts and extractions via boiling of dissolved chemicals in the plant roots have demonstrated significant antimicrobial activity against a variety of organisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoans, helminths, and chlamydia.
Currently, the predominant clinical uses of berberine in human use includes bacterial (especially of the gut) diarrhea, intestinal parasite infections, and ocular trachoma infections.
Oregon grape root has synergistic antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and bile-stimulating properties as well.
The picture above shows an Oregon Grape Root Plant along with the rhizomous roots with their brilliant yellow pigment in the inner bark shown in the inset.
AQUARIUM USE IMPLICATIONS:
Aquarium or pond use of Oregon Grape Root is still in its infancy as of writing this article, however based on human use, and how this this product works, there is clearly a lot of promise as both a treatment of its own and as a back up to other treatment in wide ranging problems from Columnaris to internal parasites of fish.
Oregon Grape Root has potential to aid in antibiotic effectiveness in treatment of difficult to treat diseases such as Columnaris as it contains a specific multi drug resistance pump inhibitor (MDR Inhibitor).
Resistant bacteria work by utilizing a pumping mechanism in its cell that when antibiotics enter that cell the pump immediately pumps out the antibiotics so it can have no effect on the MRSA cell. Oregon Grape Root works by blocking the bacteria's ability to pump out antibiotics.
Quoted Reference: 
Here is a list of Potential Treatments using Powdered Oregon Grape Root:
- Eye infections
- External wounds
- Mouth infections
- Intestinal Parasites
- Digestive issues, including Dropsy
Use; Do NOT use tinctures, rather powdered forms that are generally available in capsule form, although concentration can vary greatly (I recommend Solaray brand from Nutraceutical, but I have not tried evert brand either).
Current and experimental use is opening a 400 mg Oregon Grape Root Capsule into 10 gallons of water along with the antibiotics such as Nitrofurazone and Kanamycin. This can be added to the aquarium or a fish bath that also employs Methylene Blue and possibly other antibiotics (20-30 minutes in a fish bath).
Use in conjunction with other medications is suggested in most moderate to serious infections or internal worm infestations.
Organic Aquarium Medications; Oregon Grape Root
Aquarium, Fish Parasites, Worms; Treatment of Internal Nematodes
Oregon Grape; Wild Medicines
I personally have had the best results from the Solaray brand of Grape Root capsules, likely do to purity of the powdered grape root in the capsules
Solaray Oregon Grape Root
Suggested other aquarium information resources & products:
Replacement Aquarium/Pond UV Bulbs
Replacement of your UV Sterilizer's UV Bulb/Lamp every six months with a true level 1 capable bulb is a MUST for optimum disease prevention and aid in Redox balance.
Purchasing Aquarium & Pond Equipment via Amazon
Amazon Reviews for Aquarium Products
Aquarium Forums for Information such as LED Lighting, UV, Filters, more