Berberine: An Antidote to Anxiety, Depression, and Drug Withdrawal

What is Berberine?

Berberine is an alkaloid compound of yellow color that is found in several different plants. It has several positive properties, such as being anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, anti-diarrheal, anti-neoplastic, anti-diabetic as well as immuno-enhancing. It has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine; however, only now is it making an appearance in the West.

What are its uses?

Berberine has so many medical uses, it is hard to make a dent putting words to the extent of its utility. Berberine is used to ward off a wide range of bacteria, protozoa and fungi, gastroenteritis, including the common traveler’s diarrhea as well as food sicknesses. Similarly, it may be used to help patients with type 2 diabetes because of its ability to lower blood sugar. It’s helpful against the occasional allergy attack and battles metastatic stem cells and heart failure. There tons of doctors that advocate for berberine as a health supplement because of its effectiveness in so many areas, including mental health, stomach health, heart health, and many others.

Berberine’s positive health effects have been traced to its power to activate AMPK, which stands for adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase. Basically, in non-scientific jargon, AMPK is an enzyme in your body that helps control metabolism.  In other words, it helps with digestion

How Berberine Helps with Anxiety and PTSD

A slew of scientific research has revealed berberine’s power against PTSD, depression, and anxiety. It fights these mental ailments by inhibiting monoamine oxidase, which is an enzyme the metabolizes dopamine and serotonin in your brain. These neurotransmitters play a huge part in regulating emotions associated with anxiety and depression.

A study corroborated berberine’s antidepressant-like effects, where it was demonstrated that berberine had cured ‘behavioral despair’ in rats. Other studies by scientists revealed that berberine was beneficial in treating PTSD as well.  It was shown to restore the health of people’s brains that were damaged by fear and stress.

Berberine and Drug Withdrawal

Similarly, the properties of berberine can reduce the side effects of drug withdrawal.  Among the many other fascinating features of berberine is its capacity to activate sigma-1 receptors.  Sigma-1 receptors are a type of opioid receptors that interact with substances such as heroin and morphine, in addition to similar substances that are generated organically within your body. A Korean study examined the effects of berberine on morphine-addicted rats and found that berberine usage dramatically reduced morphine withdrawal behaviors.

Although berberine’s history as a medicine is long, we are finally coming to realize through rigorous scientific research just how effective it is.  The future is bright as we learn more, expand its uses and effectiveness in the fight against ailment and illness.