The rhizomes of Coptis japonica Makino (Ranunculaceae), or C. chinensis Franch., have long been prescribed in TEM for the treatment of inflammation-related diseases such as gastrointestinal disorders and infectious or inflammatory diseases. C. japonica contains mainly alkaloids, including berberine, magnofiorine, sanguinar-ine, and phenolic compounds . It has been considered to have antiphlogistic, sedative, antidotal, hemostatic, and antitumor properties.
Berberine has been reported to exhibit several types of biological activities, and interest has been focused on its antioxidative potential [146, 147]. C. japonica extract and its active alkaloids were effective in an in vivo LPS plus ischemia-reperfusion model that generated ONOO~ . C. chinensis administered orally for 1 week improved scopolamine-induced learning and memory deficit in rats . Although the active components of C. japonica that exert these bioactivities have not been fully elucidated, it has generally been considered that its alkaloids, such as berberine, palmatine, and coptisine, contribute to these activities.
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