Berberine is a bright yellow constituent found in a range of medicinal herbs that belong to a group of alkaloids. The herbs that contain berberine are Golden seal, Barberry, Phellodendron, Oregon Grape and California poppy. The herbal liquid has a bitter taste and is not for the faint hearted, luckily there are capsules and tablets. Golden seal and Phellodendron have been around for years and I have used them for gut cleansing, parasites and cold’s and infections. Currently further research is being conducted on this wonder yellow root that can be used topically on the skin as well as internally.
What does Berberine help with?
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), Diabetes, Gut infections, Fatty liver, Auto-Immune Conditions including Multiple Sclerosis and so much more but I’ll be here all day blabbing.
How Does Berberine work?
Berberine is a strong natural antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral and antiparasitic so look out bugs, you guys are leaving town! Berberine can be used when an overgrowth of bacteria has reached the gut wall, or the small intestine known as SIBO (Small intestinal Overgrowth). Berberine is an excellent choice in the first step of detox, as it is like pulling out the old weeds, bad bugs and starting again. Berberine’s anti-inflammatory action repairs intestinal permeability on the gut wall. It’s beneficial effects for Infammatory Bowel Disease according to research by Habtemariam (2016) is promising.
Berberine’s use in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) acts on the insulin receptors to stimulate glucose into the body’s cells. This improves insulin sensitivity and enhances blood sugar regulation, which sends a message to the ovaries telling them to stop producing excess testosterone (male hormone). Symptoms of PCOS are infertility, acne, facial hair, hair loss or thinning on head, irregular periods, and weight gain.
Infertility – A study by An Y( 2014) compared Berberine to Metformin (PCOS/antidiabetic medication) taken for 3 months prior to IVF treatment found exciting results for successful births. It reduced testosterone (male hormone), improved insulin sensitivity, weight loss and with minimal side effects compared to metformin. Yay, exciting for PCOS sufferers who have trouble shifting their weight and ultimately trying to conceive.
Acne – A study found berberine to improve acne by 45% in 4 weeks from it’s natural antibacterial action.
Anxiety – A study found that berberine helped reduce withdrawal symptoms including anxiety and depression after stopping strong pain relievers (Lee B et al 2012).
Check with your GP and Naturopath first.
Due to Berberine’s interactions with some medication, in particular antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and immunosupressants, be sure to consult with your doctor and naturopath first.
Briden L 2015 Period Repair Manual, Lara Biriden copyright, USA.
An Y et al, 2014, The use of berberine for women with polycystic ovary syndrome undergoing IVF treatment., Clin Endocrinol.
Zarei A et al. 2015, A quick overview on some aspects of endocrinological and therapeutic effects of Berberis vulgaris L. Avicenna J Phytomed
Lee B et al, 2012, Effect of berberine on depression- and anxiety-like behaviors and activation of the noradrenergic system induced by development of morphine dependence in rats. Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.
Habtemariam S 2016, Berberine and inflammatory bowel disease: A concise review. Pharmacol Res.