Radiation-induced acute intestinal symptoms (RIAISs) are the most relevant complication of abdominal or pelvic radiation. Considering the negative impact of RIAIS on patients' daily activities, the preventive effects of berberine on RIAIS in patients were investigated. Thirty-six patients with seminoma or lymphomas were randomized to receive berberine oral (n = 18) or not (n = 18). Forty-two patients with cervical cancer were randomized to a trial group (n = 21) and control group (n = 21). Radiotherapy used a parallel opposed anterior and posterior. 300-mg berberine was administered orally three times daily in trial groups. Eight patients with RIAIS were treated with 300-mg berberine three times daily from the third to the fifth week. Toxicities, such as fatigue, anorexia/nausea, etc., were graded weekly according to CTC version 2.0. Patients with abdominal/pelvic radiation in the control group showed grade 1 fatigue, anorexia/nausea, colitis, vomiting, proctitis, weight loss, diarrhea and grade 2 anorexia/nausea, fatigue. Only grade 1 colitis, anorexia/nausea, and fatigue were seen in patients of abdominal radiation treated with berberine. Grade 1 fatigue, colitis, anorexia/nausea, and proctitis occurred in patients of pelvic radiotherapy treated with berberine. Pretreatment with berberine significantly decreased the incidence and severity of RIAIS in patients with abdominal/pelvic radiotherapy when compared with the patients of the control group (P < 0.05). RIAIS were reduced in patients with abdominal radiotherapy/pelvic radiation after receiving berberine treatment. Berberine significantly reduced the incidence and severity of RIAIS and postponed the occurrence of RIAIS in patients with abdominal or whole pelvic radiation.