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Berberine is a bioactive quaternary ammonium salt found widely in the berberis plants. The strong yellow color of the plant makes it popular among the beautiful and most vibrant varieties of the plants. It is presently famous in the world of medicine as the chemical that possesses anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties and can reverse or prevent the detrimental effects of the Alzheimer’s disease. Here is some more information on the natural plant chemical Berberine:
Varieties of Plants:
The berberine chemical is obtained from the berberis variety of plants. This variety includes Berberis vulgaris, Berberis aristata, Oregon-grape, Xanthorhiza simplicissima, prickly poppy plant, Californian poppy plant and the Coptis chinensis. These are the few main plants that offer the berberine salt.
The parts of the plant rich in this chemical are the stems, roots, bark and the rhizomes. The seeds are cultivated in the ideal land under ideal temperature and weather condition. As the plant grows, these parts are obtained to extract the berberine compound.
Properties of the chemical:
Since the past 3000 years, the plants producing Berberine are known and chemical used or various purposes. The properties are studied and it suggests that berberine is slowly soluble in the water solvent. Its melting point is 145 degree Celsius and the molar mass is 336.37 g mol-1.
Uses of Berberine:
The use of this salt chemical is divided into two main categories. One includes the medicinal uses while the other category is its use in textile industry for dying purpose.
Health benefits of the chemical:
As far as medicinal properties of the chemical are concerned, the history suggests that it was popular in both Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. The health benefits of the plant chemical are as follows:
Promotes healthy digestive system:
It plays a protective role in maintaining the digestive tract health. It has an anti-diarrheal effect and is used to protect the mucosal lining from the harmful chemicals and toxins. Also, it helps deal with the leaky gut syndrome.
It is a potent substance that normalizes the blood glucose levels. How does it do that? It does this by increasing the insulin levels. The credit to this goes to its pancreatic cells regenerative properties. Its activity of the breakdown of complex carbohydrates into simple sugars is inhibited and glucose tolerance is improved.
Reduction in body weight:
The regulation of fat hormones like leptin, insulin, and adiponectin by berberine help the body to lose weight.
Textile and dying applications:
Moving on to its use in the textile industry, the credit of this application goes to the strong yellow color of the plant alkaloid. The color index of 75160 is allotted to the compound as a natural dye. It can be used to dye wood and leather and the powder extract of this compound is still used in Northern India to dye wool.
Moreover, Berberine is used for laboratory applications like in histology. By using this, the lab workers can stain heparin found in the mast cells.