Berberine is a plant alkaloid with a long history of medicinal use in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It is present in Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal), Coptis chinensis (Coptis or goldenthread), Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape), Berberis vulgaris (barberry), and Berberis aristata (tree turmeric). The berberine alkaloid can be found in the roots, rhizomes, and stem bark of the plants.
Berberine has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and immune-enhancing properties. It's effective against a wide range of bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. It can be used topically on cuts and other wounds, and it's perhaps most commonly used to treat gastrointestinal issues, including traveller's diarrhea and that from food poisoning.
Stimulates the uptake of glucose into the cells
Improves insulin sensitivity
Reduces glucose production in the liver
Because of berberine's ability to inhibit fat storage and improve the function of hormones such as insulin, leptin, and adiponectin, separate research concluded, "berberine has potential clinical application in reducing visceral fat and controlling central obesity.
It's beneficial for diabetes and weight control… and it appears berberine is beneficial for heart health, too. Part of the benefit likely comes from the compound's role in keeping blood sugar levels and obesity in check, both of which can raise your risk of heart disease.