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Phellodendron

Plant Part Used

Bark, cortex

Introduction

 

Editor's Note:While the science behind this dietary supplement is lacking, many individuals are using it. For this reason, Intramedicine has provided this monograph using the information that is currently available. As more science and research is provided, this monograph will be updated to include that material.

For thousands of years the bark from the Phellodendron amurense tree has been used as an ingredient in herbal formulas in Chinese medicine. Traditionally these formulas have been used for upset stomach and diarrhea. It has also been used as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. (1)

Due to the extensive traditional use of phellodendron cortex in Chinese medicinal herbal formulas, most of the information regarding phellodendron seems to stem from these herbal formulas. The use of multiple herbs in a formula make it difficult to deteremine which herb may be responsible for which pharmacological activity. The following information is a review of the research that has been published regarding the activity of Phellodendron amurense, extracts made from it and several chemical ingredients contained within it.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

Phellodendron is generally used as an ingredient in numerous Chinese herbal formulas. No dosage information currently exists for phellodendron to be consumed alone.

Most Common Dosage

Please see Dosage Range.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

Not applicable

Reported Uses

Phellodendron has been used to treat gastric ulcers, bacterial infections, fungal infections, and diabetes. It has also been used for immunosuppression and as a topical anti-inflammatory agent.

Japanese investigators studied an extract from the bark of Phellodendron amurense in rats. This extract did not contain any berberine, an ingredient commonly associated with pharmacological activity in phellodendron and other plants. This extract had some anit-inflammatory activity as well as anti-ulcer activity. (2)

A study evaluated as many as 12 medicinal plants for their ability to inhibit the growth of candida fungus, commonly referred to as "yeast" infections. An alcohol (methanol) extract of Phellodendron amurense significantly inhibited the growth of numerous candida species. Berberine and palmatine were identified as the predominant active ingredients in the extract. (3)

Numerous plants traditionally used in East Asian medicine were evaluated for their topical anti-inflammatory activity. One of the plants evaluated in this study was Phellodendron amurense. Phellodendron inhibited the fluid build-up and inflammation associated with several chemical irritants. (4)

Studies done on mice have indicated that Phellodendri cortex has immunosuppressive activity. The reactions associated with organ and tissue transplantation (Graft v. Host (GvH) reactions) were decreased in the mice treated with phellodendron. (5) , (6)

Studies done on diabetic rats have indicated that the use of Phellodendron cortex water extract combined with Arlia cortex extract may help reduce the damaging effects of diabetes on the eyes and kidneys in these rats. (7) , (8)

Berberine is a well documented constituent found within phellodendron as well as several other medicinal plants, including goldenseal. (9) , (10) , (11) Berberine has well documented pharmacological activity that provide both beneficial effects as well as effects that may warrant concern. It is believed that much of the pharmacological activity of phellodendron is due to the berberine content, thus the following information regarding berberine is included.

Berberine has been shown to possess antimicrobial activity against certain bacteria known to cause diarrhea, (12) , (13) , (14) against fungi, especially Candida species, (15) chlamydia trachomatis (16) and has demonstrated activity against protozoans as well. (17)

Berberine affects the cardiovascular system. A review of the medical literature has indicated that berberine can affect the timing and force of contraction of the heart and has been shown to dilate blood vessels which can alter blood pressure and blood flow throughout the body. (18) These properties may provide some benefit in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) (19) or in patients with arrhythmias (20) but, must be used with caution because these properties could inappropriately affect these patients as well.

Berberine in numerous ways has demonstrated activity against the development and the advancement of various types of cancer through various methods. (21) , (22) , (23) , (24) , (25) , (26) Growth of human colon cancer cells has been inhibited by blocking two enzymes needed for their growth; N-acetyltransferase (NAT) (27) and the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme. (28)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

To date, phellodendron has not been associated with any adverse effects. An chemical ingredient known as berberine is contained within phellodendron extracts and is believed to be one of the ingredients in phellodendron responsible for some of the activity in the body. Berberine has been associated with several adverse effects as noted below.

Health Conditions

Berberine can effect the heart and blood vessels in numerous ways. (29) If you have a cardiovascular condition including congestive heart failure, arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) or high blood pressure do not use berberine containing products unless closely monitored by a health care professional.

Jaundice individuals, especially jaundice infants, should not use berberine containing products. (30) , (31) Talk to your health care professional before taking this dietary supplement.

Side Effects

Side effects are possible with any dietary supplement. A published review of berberine literature notes the following side effects can occur: decrease in blood pressure, shortness of breath, flu-like symptoms, stomach upset and possible heart damage. (32) Tell your doctor if any of these side effects occur.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

Do not use berberine and berberine containing products while pregnant or breast-feeding. Berberine has the ability to displace bilirubin, (33) , (34) a pigment found in bile from the breakdown of waste products in the liver. Berberine has also traditionally been used as a stimulant for the uterus and could adversely effect the pregnancy. (35)

Age Limitations

Due to berberine's ability to displace bilirubin, (36) , (37) a pigment found in bile from the breakdown of waste products in the liver, berberine and berberine containing products should not be used in newborns, especially jaundiced newborns. Also, since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

References

  1. View Abstract: Uchiyama T, Kamikawa H, Ogita Z. Anti-ulcer effect of extract from phellodendri cortex. Yakugaku Zasshi. Sep1989;109(9):672-6.
  2. View Abstract: Uchiyama T, Kamikawa H, Ogita Z. Anti-ulcer effect of extract from phellodendri cortex. Yakugaku Zasshi. Sep1989;109(9):672-6.
  3. View Abstract: Park KS, Kang KC, Kim JH, Adams DJ, Johng TN, Paik YK. Differential inhibitory effects of protoberberines on sterol and chitin biosyntheses in Candida albicans. J Antimicrob Chemother. May1999;43(5):667-74.
  4. View Abstract: Cuellar MJ, Giner RM, Recio MC, Manez S, Rios JL. Topical anti-inflammatory activity of some Asian medicinal plants used in dermatological disorders. Fitoterapia. Mar2001;72(3):221-9.
  5. View Abstract: Mori H, Fuchigami M, Inoue N, Nagai H, Koda A, Nishioka I. Principle of the bark of Phellodendron amurense to suppress the cellular immune response. Planta Med. Oct1994;60(5):445-9.
  6. View Abstract: Mori H, Fuchigami M, Inoue N, Nagai H, Koda A, Nishioka I, et al. Principle of the bark of Phellodendron amurense to suppress the cellular immune response: effect of phellodendrine on cellular and humoral immune responses. Planta Med. Feb1995;61(1):45-9.
  7. View Abstract: Lee YM, Kim H, Hong EK, Kang BH, Kim SJ. Water extract of 1:1 mixture of Phellodendron cortex and Aralia cortex has inhibitory effects on oxidative stress in kidney of diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol. Dec2000;73(3):429-36.
  8. View Abstract: Lee Y, Kim H, Choi HS, Kang BH, Han YB, Kim SJ. Effects of water extract of 1:1 mixture of Phellodendron cortex and Aralia cortex on polyol pathway and oxidative damage in lenses of diabetic rats. Phytother Res. Nov1999;13(7):555-60.
  9. View Abstract: Zhou H, Gu Y. Determination of berberine in Phellodendron chinense Schneid and its processed products by TLC (thin layer chromatography) densitometry. Chung Kuo Chung Yao Tsa Chih. Jul1995;20(7):405-7,447.
  10. View Abstract: Wang YM, Zhao LB, Lin SL, Dong SS, An DK. Determination of berberine and palmatine in cortex phellodendron and Chinese patent medicines by HPLC. Yao Hsueh Hsueh Pao. 1989;24(4):275-9.
  11. View Abstract: Abourashed EA, Khan IA. High-performance liquid chromatography determination of hydrastine and berberine in dietary supplements containing goldenseal. J Pharm Sci. Jul2001;90(7):817-822.
  12. View Abstract: Sack RB, Froehlich JL. Berberine inhibits intestinal secretory response of Vibrio cholerae and Escherichia coli enterotoxins. Infect Immun. Feb1982;35(2):471-5.
  13. View Abstract: Rabbani GH. Mechanism and treatment of diarrhoea due to Vibrio cholerae and Escherichia coli: roles of drugs and prostaglandins. Dan Med Bull. Apr1996;43(2):173-85.
  14. View Abstract: Rabbani GH, Butler T, Knight J, Sanyal SC, Alam K. Randomized controlled trial of berberine sulfate therapy for diarrhea due to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae. J Infect Dis. May1987;155(5):979-84.
  15. View Abstract: Nakamoto K, Sadamori S, Hamada T. Effects of crude drugs and berberine hydrochloride on the activities of fungi. J Prosthet Dent. Dec1990;64(6):691-4.
  16. View Abstract: Khosla PK, Neeraj VI, Gupta SK, Satpathy G. Berberine, a potential drug for trachoma. Rev Int Trach Pathol Ocul Trop Subtrop Sante Publique. 1992;69:147-65.
  17. View Abstract: Kaneda Y, Torii M, Tanaka T, Aikawa M. In vitro effects of berberine sulphate on the growth and structure of Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia and Trichomonas vaginalis. Ann Trop Med Parasitol. Aug1991;85(4):417-25.
  18. View Abstract: Lau CW, Yao XQ, Chen ZY, Ko WH, Huang Y. Cardiovascular actions of berberine. Cardiovasc Drug Rev. Sep2001;19(3):234-44.
  19. View Abstract: Marin-Neto JA, Maciel BC, Secches AL, Gallo Junior L. Cardiovascular effects of berberine in patients with severe congestive heart failure. Clin Cardiol. Apr1988;11(4):253-60.
  20. View Abstract: Huang W. Ventricular tachyarrhythmias treated with berberine. Zhonghua Xin Xue Guan Bing Za Zhi. Jun1990;18(3):155-6, 190.
  21. View Abstract: Ckless K, Schlottfeldt JL, Pasqual M, Moyna P, Henriques JA, Wajner M. Inhibition of in-vitro lymphocyte transformation by the isoquinoline alkaloid berberine. J Pharm Pharmacol. Dec1995;47(12A):1029-31.
  22. View Abstract: Wu HL, Hsu CY, Liu WH, Yung BY. Berberine-induced apoptosis of human leukemia HL-60 cells is associated with down-regulation of nucleophosmin/B23 and telomerase activity. Int J Cancer. Jun1999;81(6):923-9.
  23. View Abstract: Lin JG, Chung JG, Wu LT, Chen GW, Chang HL, Wang TF. Effects of berberine on arylamine N-acetyltransferase activity in human colon tumor cells. Am J Chin Med. 1999;27(2):265-75.
  24. View Abstract: Anis KV, Rajeshkumar NV, Kuttan R. Inhibition of chemical carcinogenesis by berberine in rats and mice. J Pharm Pharmacol. May2001;53(5):763-8.
  25. View Abstract: Xu X, Malave A. Protective effect of berberine on cyclophosphamide-induced haemorrhagic cystitis in rats. Pharmacol Toxicol. May2001;88(5):232-7.
  26. View Abstract: Fukuda K, Hibiya Y, Mutoh M, Koshiji M, Akao S, Fujiwara H. Inhibition of activator protein 1 activity by berberine in human hepatoma cells. Planta Med. May1999;65(4):381-3.
  27. View Abstract: Chung JG, Chen GW, Hung CF, Lee JH, Ho CC, Ho HC, et al. Effects of berberine on arylamine N-acetyltransferase activity and 2-aminofluorene-DNA adduct formation in human leukemia cells. Am J Chin Med. 2000;28(2):227-38.
  28. View Abstract: Fukuda K, Hibiya Y, Mutoh M, Koshiji M, Akao S, Fujiwara H. Inhibition by berberine of cyclooxygenase-2 transcriptional activity in human colon cancer cells. J Ethnopharmacol. Aug1999;66(2):227-33.
  29. View Abstract: Lau CW, Yao XQ, Chen ZY, Ko WH, Huang Y. Cardiovascular actions of berberine. Cardiovasc Drug Rev. Sep2001;19(3):234-44.
  30. View Abstract: Chan E. Displacement of bilirubin from albumin by berberine. Biol Neonate. 1993;63(4):201-8.
  31. View Abstract: Chan MY. The effect of berberine on bilirubin excretion in the rat. Comp Med East West. Jun1977;5(2):161-8.
  32. Birdsall TC, Kelly GS. Berberine: Therapeutic potential of an alkaloid in several medicinal plants. Altern Med Review. 1997;2(2):94-103.
  33. View Abstract: Chan E. Displacement of bilirubin from albumin by berberine. Biol Neonate. 1993;63(4):201-8.
  34. View Abstract: Chan MY. The effect of berberine on bilirubin excretion in the rat. Comp Med East West. Jun1977;5(2):161-8.
  35. Birdsall TC, Kelly GS. Berberine: Therapeutic potential of an alkaloid in several medicinal plants. Altern Med Review. 1997;2(2):94-103.
  36. View Abstract: Chan E. Displacement of bilirubin from albumin by berberine. Biol Neonate. 1993;63(4):201-8.
  37. View Abstract: Chan MY. The effect of berberine on bilirubin excretion in the rat. Comp Med East West. Jun1977;5(2):161-8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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