Berberis Vulgaris and Berberine: An Update Review

Phytother Res. 2016 Nov;30(11):1745-1764. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5693. Epub 2016 Aug 16.


Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid present in several plants, including Coptis sp. and Berberis sp. Berberine is a customary component in Chinese medicine, and is characterized by a diversity of pharmacological effects. An extensive search in electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, Ovid, Wiley, ProQuest, ISI, and Science Direct) were used to identify the pharmacological and clinical studies on Berberis vulgaris and berberine, during 2008 to 2015, using 'berberine' and 'Berberis vulgaris' as search words. We found more than 1200 new article studying the properties and clinical uses of berberine and B. vulgaris, for treating tumor, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hyperlipidemia, inflammation, bacterial and viral infections, cerebral ischemia trauma, mental disease, Alzheimer disease, osteoporosis, and so on. In this article, we have updated the pharmacological effects of B. vulgaris and its active constituent, berberine. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: Berberis vulgaris; barberry; berberine; pharmacokinetic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Berberine / chemistry*
  • Berberine / pharmacology
  • Berberis / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology


  • Plant Extracts
  • Berberine