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.
Saha P, Bhattacharjee S, Sarkar A, Manna A, Majumder S, Chatterjee M. Berberine chloride mediates its anti-leishmanial activity via differential regulation of the mitogen activated protein kinase pathway in macrophages. PLoS One. 2011 Apr 5;6(4):e18467.
Saha P, Sen R, Hariharan C, Kumar D, Das P, Chatterjee M.Berberine chloride causes a caspase-independent, apoptotic-like death in Leishmania donovani promastigotes. Free Radic Res. 2009;43(11):1101-10.
Kulkarni SK, Dhir A. On the mechanism of antidepressant-like action of berberine chloride. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Jul 28;589(1-3):163-72.
Kulkarni SK, Dhir A. Possible involvement of L-arginine-nitric oxide (NO)-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) signaling pathway in the antidepressant activity of berberine chloride. Eur J Pharmacol. 2007 Aug 13;569(1-2):77-83.
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