Soluble in boiling water. Slightly soluble in methanol.
REVIEW Berberine hydrochloride is a naturally occurring quaternary ammonium salt from the protoberberine group of isoquinoline alkaloids. It is found in such plants (roots, rhizomes, stems, and bark) as Berberis [e.g. Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape), Berberis vulgaris (barberry), Berberis aristata (tree turmeric)], Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal), Xanthorhiza simplicissima (yellowroot), Phellodendron amurense (Amur cork tree), Coptis chinensis (Chinese goldthread), Tinospora cordifolia, Argemone mexicana (prickly poppy), and Eschscholzia californica (Californian poppy). Berberine is strongly yellow colored, resulting in Berberis species being used to dye wool, leather and wood since early times. Even today, wool is still dyed with berberine in northern India. Under ultraviolet light, berberine shows a strong yellow fluorescence, so it is used in histology for staining heparin in mast cells. The berberine cation has been shown to intercalate with double stranded DNA. As a traditional medicine or dietary supplement 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. Bereberine hasshwon wide ranging pharmacological effect beyond antiinfectives - Alzheimers and depressions and their various molecular mechanisms are currently undergoing study.
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