Scientific Name(S): Xanthorhiza simplicissima Marsh. synon. with Zanthorhiza apiifolia. Family: Ranunculaceae.
Common Name(S): Yellow root, parsley-leaved yellow root, yellow wart, shrub yellow root. Not to be confused with "yellow root," also referring to goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.).
A shrub-like plant indigenous to the east coast of North America that grows from New York to Florida, yellow root is commonly found growing near stream banks and shady areas. It flowers in April and derives its names from the bright yellow color of the rhizome.
Yellow root has been used in folk medicine for mouth infections and sore throat, diabetes, and childbirth, and as an antibiotic, immunostimulant, anticonvulsant, sedative, hypotensive, utertonic, and choleretic.
It is generally considered non-toxic, exceptions being anticoagulation interactions, cardiostimulation, and uterine stimulatory. Berberine can stimulate uterine activity; use during pregnancy should be avoided.
Yellow root had been used by people living in the southern United States for the treatment of hypertension and diabetes. It was popular in folk medicine and has been used for mouth infections and sore throat, diabetes, and childbirth.
Berberine is the major alkaloid in yellow root with the minor alkaloids jatrorhizine and mognoflorine also having been identified. In addition, cytotoxic isoquinoline alkaloids, liriodenine and palmatine have been isolated in a later report. The major alkaloid berberine is present in 23 genera, spanning 7 plant families. Berberine content in yellow root ranges between 1 .2% to 1.3% puntarenine, an isohomoprotoberberine alkaloid has recently been isolated as well.
Yellow root derives its name from the yellow color of the rhizome. It was a popular plant in folk medicine, with its major alkaloid being berberine. Berberine's activities include antibiotic, immunostimulant, anticonvulsant, sedative, hypotensive, utertonic, choleretic, and carminative. It is generally considered non-toxic, with exceptions being anticoagulation interactions, cardiostimulation, and uterine stimulatory.
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