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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 798093, 10 pages
Review Article

The Antihyperglycemic Effects of Rhizoma Coptidis and Mechanism of Actions: A Review of Systematic Reviews and Pharmacological Research

Tianjin Institute for Clinical Evaluation of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, No. 88 Yuquan Road, Nankai District, Tianjin 300193, China

Received 10 January 2014; Revised 10 March 2014; Accepted 18 March 2014; Published 10 April 2014

Academic Editor: Mila Emerald

Copyright © 2014 Hui Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Rhizoma Coptidis (Huang Lian in Chinese pinyin) is among the most widely used traditional Chinese herbal medicines and has a profound history of more than 2000 years of being used as a therapeutic herb. The antidiabetic effects of Rhizoma Coptidis have been extensively investigated in animal experiments and clinical trials and its efficacy as a promising antihyperglycemic agent has been widely discussed. In the meantime, findings from modern pharmacological studies have contributed the majority of its bioactivities to berberine, the isoquinoline alkaloids component of the herb, and a number of experiments testing the antidiabetic effects of berberine have been initiated. Therefore, we conducted a review of the current evidence profile of the antihyperglycemic effects of Rhizoma Coptidis as well as its main component berberine and the possible mechanism of actions, in order to summarize research evidence in this area and identify future research directions.