Barberry - Herbal Research:
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Medicinal uses supported by clinical data
Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
Used orally for the treatment of digestive complaints, such as dyspepsia, diarrhoea, gastritis, feelings of distention and flatulence (1).
Although no clinical trials evaluating Cortex Berberidis have been conducted, the most relevant active principle is known to be berberine. Berberine has been shown to be effective for the treatment of bacterially-induced diarrhoea (14–20), ocular trachoma (21) and cutaneous leishmaniasis (22–25).
Uses described in traditional medicine
Used orally for the treatment of cystitis, dysmenorrhoea, eczema, fever, haemorrhoids, inflammation, menorrhagia, nasal congestion, rheumatism, tinnitus and vaginitis (4,26,27). Also used as a cholagogue, diuretic, emmenagogue, haemostat, laxative and a tonic (4).
1. British herbal pharmacopoeia, Vol. 1. Exeter, British Herbal Medicine Association, 1996
4.Farnsworth NR, ed.NAPRALERT database. Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL (an online database available directly through the University of Illinois at Chicago or through the Scientific and Technical Network [STN]of Chemical Abstracts Services), 30 June 2005
14. Khin-Maung U et al. Clinical trial of berberine in acute watery diarrhoea. British Medical Journal, 1986, 291:1601–1605.
15. Lahiri SC, Dutta NK. Berberine and chloramphenicol in the treatment of cholera and severe diarrhoea. Journal of the Indian Medical Association, 1967, 48:1–11.
16. Chauhan RK, Jain AM, Bhandari B. Berberine in the treatment of childhood diarrhoea. Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 1970, 37:577–579.
17. Rabbani GH et al. Randomized controlled trial of berberine sulfate therapy for diarrhea due to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 1987, 155:979–984.
18. Sharda DC. Berberine in the treatment of diarrhoea in infancy and childhood. Journal of the Indian Medical Association, 1970, 54:22–24.
19. Sharma R, Joshi CK, Goyal RK. Berberine tannate in acute diarrhoea. Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 1970, 7:496–501.
20. Tang W, Eisenbrand G. Chinese drugs of plant origin. London, Springer-Ver-lag, 1992.
21. Mohan M et al. Berberine in trachoma. Indian Journal of Ophthalmology,1982, 30:69–75.
22. Das Gupta BM. The treatment of oriental sore with berberine acid sulfate. Indian Medical Gazette, 1930, 65:683–685.
23. Das Gupta BM, Dikshit BB. Berberine in the treatment of Oriental boil. Indian Medical Gazette, 1929, 67:70.
24. Devi AL. Berberine sulfate in oriental sore. Indian Medical Gazette, 1929, 64:139.
25. Peirce A. The APhA practical guide to natural medicines. New York, NY, Stonesong Press, Wm. Morrow & Co., 1999.
26. Kupeli E et al. A comparative study on the anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive and antipyretic effects of isoquinoline alkaloids from the roots of Turkish Berberis species. Life Sciences, 2002, 72:645–657.
27. Zolotnitskaya SY, ed. Pharmaceutical resources of Armenian Flora, Vol. 2. Yerevan, Armenia, SSR AN Publishers, 1965