Articles

Berberine.

Author

Date

4/2000

Journal

Altern Med Rev

Abstract

Berberine is a plant alkaloid with a long history of medicinal use in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It is present in Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal), Coptis chinensis (Coptis or goldenthread), Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape), Berberis vulgaris (barberry), and Berberis aristata (tree turmeric). The berberine alkaloid can be found in the roots, rhizomes, and stem bark of the plants. Berberine extracts and decoctions 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 include bacterial diarrhea, intestinal parasite infections, and ocular trachoma infections.