Radix Berberidis


The dried root and stem of Berberis souheana Schneid., B. wilsonne flemsl., and B. poiretii Schneid., family Berberidaceae.

Root somewhat conical, twisted and branching, 10-15 cm long and 1-3 cm in diameter; epidermis greyish brown and finely striated; section bright yellow in colour and radial in arrangement. Stem with many branches; surface greyish brown, with longitudinal ridges and thick tridentate leaf spines; section yellow in colour, radial in arrangement, with a brown yellowish pith. Bitter in taste, cold in nature, and attributive to liver, stomach and large intestine channels.

1. Clear away heat and deprive dampness form middle jiao: For diarrhea, dysentery and leucorrhagia of dampness-heat type.
2. Purge sthenic fire and eliminate toxic material: For skin infection pharyngitis and conjunctivitis of intense heat type.
3. Lower blood pressure: For hypertension, used together with Flos Chrysanthemi Indici:, Spica Prunellae, etc. Berbamine may be used individually.
4. Raise WBC level: Berbamine may be used for leukopenia induced by chemical drugs, radiation, benzene, aplastic anemia and others.

Pharmacological Action
1. The action of berberine, one of its active components, is similar to Rhizoma Coptidis.
2. Berbamine, another active corilponent, relieves leucopenia induced by cyclophosphamide, benzene, radiation, etc.
3. Berbamine counters the immunodamage induced by cytosine arabinoside and enhances lymphocyte-blastogenesis rate in leukopenic patient suffering from chronic benzene poisoning.

Administration Decoction: 9-15g. Tablet (containing berbamine 25 mg): 2 tablets tid.


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Mr. Wang Tao

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