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Since May 10th 2008


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Cassia senna

Centella asiatica
Chamomilla recutita
Cinnamomum verum
Coptis chinensis
Curcuma longa
Calendula officinalis
Cimicifuga racemosa
Crataegus monogyna
Carthamus tinctorius
Cephaelis ipecacuanha
Commiphora molmol
Commiphora mukul
Crocus sativus
Cordyceps sinensis
Cyperus rotundus


 

 

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Untitled Document Coptis chinensis Franch (Ranunculaceae)

Local names
Chinese goldthread, ch’uan-lien, coptis, coptis rhizome, gold thread, huang lian, huang-lien, huánglián, oren, Perlenschnur, weilian

Description
A perennial stemless herb, 20–50 cm high. Leaves basal, long petiolate; blade triangular-ovate, 3–8 cm long by 2.5–7 cm wide, ternatisect; leaflets pinnatifid, lobes incised, the terminal leaflet longer than the others. Peduncles 1–2, 12– 25cm long, bracts resembling leaves. Inflorescence a terminal cyme with 3–8 whitish green flowers; sepals narrow-ovate, 9–12 mm long; petals small, oblanceolate,
5–7mm long; stamens numerous, 3–6mm long; carpels 8–12, with carpophores, follicles many-seeded. Seeds with black crustaceous testa. Rhizome shaped like a cockspur, 5–6 cm long, brownish yellow, densely covered with numerous nodes and often with rootlets; interior yellow-orange; in transverse section, the central pith deeper in colour

Plant material used
dried rhizome

Chemical assays
Should contain not less than 4.2% of berberine, calculated as berberine chloride, assayed by means of thin-layer chromatography or high-performance liquid chromatography

Major chemical constituents
The major constituents are berberine and related protoberberine alkaloids (3, 8, 10). Berberine occurs in the range of 4–8% ( C. chinensis: 5–7%; C. deltoides: 4–8%; C. japonica: 7–9%), followed by palmatine (C. chinensis: 1–4%; C. deltoides: 1–3%; C. japonica: 0.4–0.6%), coptisine (C. chinensis: 0.8–2%; C. deltoides: 0.8–1%; C. japonica: 0.4–0.6%), berberastine (C. chinensis: 1%; C. deltoides: 1%; C. japonica: trace) among others

Dosage forms
Crude plant material, decoction, and powder. Store in a well-ventilated dry environment protected from light.

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data
None.

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
To manage bacterial diarrhoeas. The drug is also used in the treatment of acute conjunctivitis, gastroenteritis, boils, and cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis (“oriental sore”).

Uses described in traditional medicine
Treatment of arthritis, burns, diabetes, dysmenorrhoea, toothache, malaria, gout, and renal disease

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Antimicrobial, Hypoglycemic, Wound healing

Human studies
Cutaneous leishmaniasis, Antidiarrhea, Wound healing

Contraindications
The safety of berberine or extracts of Rhizoma Coptidis in pregnancy has not been established. Therefore, until such data are available the use of berberine during pregnancy is contraindicated.

Warnings
No information available.

Precautions
Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
The safety of berberine or extracts of Rhizoma Coptidis has not been established with respect to fertility. There are conflicting reports as to the mutagenicity of Rhizoma Coptidis and berberine.

Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
The safety of berberine or extracts of Rhizoma Coptidis has not been established with respect to pregnancy. See Contraindications, above.

Nursing mothers
Excretion of berberine or Rhizoma Coptidis into breast milk, and its effects on the newborn have not been established; therefore, use of the herb during lactation is not recommended.

Paediatric use
The safety and efficacy of Rhizoma Coptidis or berberine in children have not been established.

Other precautions
No information available concerning general precautions, drug interactions, drug and laboratory test interactions, or teratogenic effects on pregnancy.

Adverse reactions
Berberine was reported to be well tolerated in therapeutic doses of 500mg, and no serious intoxication was reported in humans. One report of nausea, vomiting, enterocinetic sound, abdominal distortion, diarrhoea, polyuria, and erythropenia after administration of oral Rhizoma Coptidis to human adults does not state the dosage used. No systematic studies have assessed organ function during acute or chronic administration of berberine salts or extracts of Rhizoma Coptidis.

Posology
Maximum daily oral dosage of crude plant material: 1.5–6g

 

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