Berberis aristata, Berberis chitria, Berberis coriaria, Bérbero Indio, Chitra, Citra, Darhahed, Darhald, Daruhaldi, Daruharidra, Darurajani, Darvi, Épine-Vinette Aristée, Hint Amberparisi, Indian Barberry, Indian Berberry, Indian Lycium, Indian Ophthalmic Barberry, Nepal Barberry, Nepalese Barberry, Ophthalmic Barberry.
Overview InformationTree turmeric is a plant. It contains a chemical called berberine. The fruit, stems, leaves, wood, root, and root bark are used to make medicine.
People take tree turmeric for diabetes. It is also used for high cholesterol and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these other uses.
Do not confuse Tree turmeric with Turmeric (Curcuma longa). These are different plants with different effects.
How does it work?The chemicals in tree turmeric might reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Diabetes. Taking a specific product containing tree turmeric extract and milk thistle extract (Berberol by PharmExtracta) along with antidiabetes drugs can lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. It might take more than 3 months for this product to work. It's unclear if these benefits are due to tree turmeric, milk thistle, or the combination.
Insufficient Evidence for
- High cholesterol. Taking tree turmeric extract along with milk thistle extract seems to help lower cholesterol levels when taken alone or along with medicines for high cholesterol. It might help in people who can't tolerate high doses of medicines called statins. It's unclear if these benefits are due to tree turmeric, milk thistle, or the combination.
- Heart failure.
- Liver disease.
- Abnormally heavy bleeding during menstrual periods (menorrhagia).
- An eye infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis (trachoma).
- Wound healing.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyWhen taken by mouth: Tree turmeric is LIKELY SAFE when taken as a specific product that also contains milk thistle (Berberol, PharmExtracta). The most common side effects are nausea and other stomach problems. There isn't enough reliable information to know if other forms of tree turmeric are safe.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to take tree turmeric if you are pregnant because it contains a chemical called berberine. Researchers believe berberine can cross the placenta and might cause harm to the fetus. Kernicterus, a type of brain damage, has developed in newborn infants exposed to berberine.
It's also LIKELY UNSAFE to take tree turmeric if you are breast-feeding, because it contains a chemical called berberine. Berberine can be transferred to the infant through breast milk, and it might cause harm.
Children: Tree turmeric is LIKELY UNSAFE in newborn infants. It contains a chemical called berberine that can cause kernicterus, a rare type of brain damage that can occur in newborns who have severe jaundice. Jaundice is yellowing of the skin caused by too much bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a chemical that is produced when the old red cells break down. Bilirubin is normally removed by the liver. Berberine may keep the liver from removing bilirubin fast enough.
Diabetes: Tree turmeric might lower blood sugar levels. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use tree turmeric.
High bilirubin levels in the blood in infants: Bilirubin is a chemical that is produced when the old red blood cells break down. It is normally removed by the liver. Tree turmeric may keep the liver from removing bilirubin fast enough. This can cause brain problems, especially in infants with high levels of bilirubin in the blood. Avoid using.
Low blood pressure: Tree turmeric can lower blood pressure. Theoretically, tree turmeric might increase the risk of blood pressure becoming too low in people who already have low blood pressure. Use with caution.
Do not take this combination
Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) interacts with TREE TURMERIC
The body breaks down cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) to get rid of it. Tree turmeric might decrease how fast the body breaks down cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune). This might cause there to be too much cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) in the body and potentially cause side effects.
Be cautious with this combination
Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with TREE TURMERIC
Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.
Tree turmeric might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking tree turmeric along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking tree turmeric, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver. Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), clarithromycin (Biaxin), indinavir (Crixivan), sildenafil (Viagra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.
- Diabetes: A specific product (Berberol, PharmExtracta) containing 1176 mg of tree turmeric extract and 210 mg of milk thistle extract has been taken daily for 3-12 months.
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