The overharvesting of some plants, such as Echinacea angnstifolia, goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis
), black cohosh (Actaea racemosa), and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) has landed these and other herbs on the United Plant Savers "At risk" list.
Useful herbs include organic goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis
) or other berberine-rich herbs.
Berberine, an orangish-yellow alkaloid found at high levels in the bark and root structures of plants including Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis
), barberry (Berberis vulgaris), and Chinese goldthread (Coptis chinensis), has a broad and wide history of use.
Preparations of black cohosh root (Actaea racemosa [Nutt.] L.), Goldenseal root (Hydrastis canadensis
L.), and Chaste tree fruits (Vitex agnuscastus L.) are listed in the U.
 reported that an aqueous extract of Hydrastis canadensis
(1.86 g/kg p.o.) containing 9.6 mg/ml of berberine and 8.4 mg/ml of hydrastine did not affect fetal development in pregnant rats over 20 days of treatment.
Berberine, an alkaloid isolated from a number of plants including Berberis vulgaris, Hydrastis canadensis
, Coptis chinensis and Mahonia aquifolium, has been used extensively for treating diarrhoea and gastrointestinal (GI) complaints for centuries, with recognised antimicrobial, anti-motility, anti-permeability and anti-secretory properties.
Keywords: Hydrastis canadensis
L., Berberis aristata DC.
* Golden seal (Hydrastis canadensis
) interacts with laxatives and can oppose their diarrhoeal effects leading to further constipation and gastrointestinal upsets (10)
Regrowth of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis
) and ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), for example, is dependent on the size and type of vegetative propagules remaining in the soil (e.g., rootlets and intact, distal, mid- or proximal rhizome fragments; Van der Voort et al., 2003).
Firstly there lies the issue of managing our own herbal pharmacopeia sustainably (for example supporting regulations that restrict the use of unsustainably harvested herbs such as Hydrastis canadensis
, golden seal) (Davis 2000, Cech 2002).
Berberine is an isoquinoline derivative alkaloid that has been isolated from Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape), Berberis aristata (tree turmeric), Berberis vulgaris (barberry), and Hydrastis canadensis
(goldenseal) (Ikram, 1975).
INCI: Origanum vulgare leaf extract, thymus vulgaris (thyme) extract, cinnamomum zeylancum bark extract, olea europaea (olive) leaf extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, mentha piperita leaf extract, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower extract, hydrastis canadensis
(golden seal) root extract