Rhizoma Coptidis


Rhizome of Coptis chinensis Franch. and C. deltoidea C. Y. Cheng et Hsiao, family Ranuncutaceae.

Rhizome branching at the base with the branches curved up-wards, like an inverted chicken claw. A single rhizome 3-6 cm long, 0.3-0.8 cm in diameter; surface grey-yellow, coarse, nodes dense, protruding, with relic spiny fibrous roots, sometimes with internodes, long and smooth; brown scale leaves and leaf bases often remaining at the top of the rhizome. Cortex of the section reddish, xylem bright yellow, vascular bundles radial, pith sometime hollowed. The rhizome of C deltoidea usually single, few of branches, with longer internodes. Bitter in taste, cold in nature, and attributive to heart, liver, stomach and large intestine channels.

1. Clear away heat and deprive dampness from the middle-jiao: For diarrhea, dysentery and jaundice of daiiipness-heat type, stranguria of heat type, dampness-heat syndrome involving the gastrointestine with abdominal fullness, nausea, vomiting, red tongue with yellowish greasy coating.
2. Purge the sthenic fire and clear away toxic material: For various types of intense heat-syndrome, such as seasonal febrile diseases, pestilence, carbuncle, furunculosis complicated by septicemia, sorethroat, conjunctivitis, burn, etc. Applicable to cases with high fever, extreme thirst, restlessness, red tongue, yellow fur, rapid pulse, delirium and coma
3. Clear away heart-fire and relieve vexation: For sthenic heart-fire syndrome with fever, chest upset and insomnia.
4. Purge sthenic fire to stop bleeding: For heat-syndrome with hemitemesis, hemoptysis, epistaxis, hemafecia, or hematuria, usually used together with Radix Scutellariae, Fructus Gardeniae and Radix et Rhizoma RheL

Pharmacological Action
Its chief component is berberine.
1. Possessing broad-spectrum antibacterial and antiprotozoal effects.
2. Intravenous injection or oral administration of berberine exerts a hypotensive effect on experimental animals.
3. Small dosage of berberine enhances the action of acetylcholine on animals' hearts in vitro, while large dosage counteracts it.
4. Relaxmg the smooth muscles of blood vessels and stimulating those of uterus, urinary bladder, bronchus and gastrointestines.
5. Promoting bile secretion.
6. Berberine inhibits the cellular growth of ascitic cancer and lymphoma.

Administration Decoction: 3-9g. Tablet (berberine 0. l-0.2g): tid or qid.


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