Berberis Aristata: The Powerful Adaptogen from India


Berberis Aristata goes by many names - Indian Barberry, Chutro, tree turmeric. By any name, it is a shrub that serves as an important medicinal herb, native to the Northern Himalayan region. It’s traditionally used in Ayurveda as an antibacterial, antiperiodic (prevents the periodic return of attacks of disease), antidiarrheal, and is used in cancer treatment as well as ophthalmic infections. Its root, stem, and leaves are also used to treat various ailments, and are used extensively in Indian medicine.

Berberine - The Powerful Compound of Berberis Aristata

Berberis Aristata has a bioactive compound called berberine, an alkaloid in plants that have been used in various traditional medicine practices for thousands of years. After being researched through hundreds of studies, berberine has been shown to have powerful effects on many different biological systems. Once berberine is ingested, it travels into your cells through your bloodstream. Once it’s inside the cells, it binds to several different “molecular targets,” and changes their function.

 This is similar to how pharmaceutical drugs work. One of the main actions of berberine is to activate an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), or the “metabolic master switch.” It’s found in the cells of various organs including the brain, muscle, kidney, heart and liver, and if you couldn’t tell from the name - plays a major role in regulating metabolism. 

 The Benefits of Berberis Aristata

Multiple studies have shown that berberine can significantly reduce blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes. In fact, its effectiveness is comparable to the common diabetes drug metformin (Glucophage).  Berberine decreases insulin resistance and increases glycolysis, helping the body break down sugars inside cells. At the same time, it decreases sugar production in the liver, slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut, and increasing the number of beneficial bacteria. In a review of 14 studies, berberine was shown to be as effective as oral diabetes drugs, including metformin, glipizide and rosiglitazone.

The plant, along with its extract, known as “rasot”, are regarded as an alternative treatment and a deobstruent (removes obstructions, clears or opens the natural ducts of the fluids, and secretions of the body). They are used in the treatment of skin diseases, menorrhagia, diarrhea, jaundice and various eye affections. A decoction of the root bark is said to improve the appearance and promote the cicatrization of ulcers. Berberis Aristata is also known for promoting appetite and assisting digestion, its astringent properties which help with detoxification, helping prevent and reduce fevers, antidiabetic, and for its diaphoretic properties (inducing perspiration).

With its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, berberine may have benefits against cancer, infections, liver disorders and heart failure. With many scientific studies to back it, berberine is an effective medicine, it’s clear to see why this medicinal herb has been used so diversely and consistently for thousands of years.

Due to the powerful healing properties of this botanical, it is a key ingredient in our powerful anti Inflammation Formula, the Biodynamic Turmeric Tonic Formula.




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