Yellow Root

Jul 30, 2022

Scientific Name(s): Xanthorhiza simplicissima Marshall.
Common Name(s): Parsley-leaved yellow root, Shrub yellow root, Yellow root, Yellow wart

Clinical Overview

Use

Yellow root has been used in folk medicine as a yellow dye and for multiple conditions, including mouth infections and sore throat, diabetes, and childbirth. Yellow root has also been used for its antibiotic, immunostimulant, anticonvulsant, sedative, hypotensive, uterotonic, and choleretic properties. However, clinical data are lacking regarding the use of yellow root to treat any condition.

Dosing

There is no clinical evidence to support dosing recommendations for yellow root.

Contraindications

Contraindications have not been identified.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Avoid use during pregnancy. Berberine crosses the placenta, enters breast milk, and has been associated with jaundice and kernicterus in neonates.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

Information is lacking; however, clinical trials using berberine report minor GI adverse effects.

Toxicology

The yellow root constituent berberine is generally considered nontoxic, with no genotoxic, cytotoxic, or mutagenic effects reported at clinical doses.

Scientific Family

  • Ranunculaceae (buttercup)

Botany

Yellow root (not to be confused with goldenseal [Hydrastis canadensis L.]), a shrub-like plant indigenous to the east coast of North America, grows from New York to Florida and is commonly found near stream banks and shady areas. It flowers in April and derives its name from the bright yellow color of the rhizome. Duke 2002 ,  USDA 2016  A synonym is Zanthorhiza apiifolia.

History

One of the primary uses of yellow root by American Indians was as a natural source of yellow dye. Among other uses, yellow root has been used as a remedy for hypertension and diabetes, for mouth infections and sore throat, and to aid in childbirth. Duke 2002 ,  Newall 1996

Chemistry

Berberine is the major alkaloid in yellow root, with the minor alkaloids jatrorhizine, mognoflorine, and puntarenine identified; the isoquinoline alkaloids liriodenine and palmatine have also been isolated. The berberine content in yellow root is estimated to range from 1.2% to 1.3%. Knapp 1967 ,  Okunade 1994 ,  Wu 1989

Uses and Pharmacology

Yellow root may exhibit properties similar to those of goldenseal and barberry because of the presence of berberine; however, limited experiments have been reported with X. simplicissima. See the Goldenseal and Barberry monographs.

In vitro and animal data

Antimicrobial activity has been described, Okunade 1994  and in vitro inhibition of leukemia cell replication has been demonstrated. Baker 1989

Clinical data

Research reveals no clinical data regarding the use of yellow root for any condition.

Dosing

There is no clinical evidence to support dosing recommendations for yellow root. Doses of 0.5 to 1 tsp of the powdered root bark taken up to 3 times a day have been documented. Duke 2002  Yellow root may be used as an adulterant in goldenseal preparations.

Pregnancy / Lactation

Avoid use during pregnancy. Kumar 2015  The chemical constituent berberine crosses the placenta, is transferred through breast milk, and has been associated with jaundice and kernicterus in neonates. Kumar 2015

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

Information is lacking; however, clinical trials using berberine report minor GI adverse effects. Kumar 2015

Toxicology

A case report of toxicity after drinking yellow root tea for 2 years has been attributed to arsenic contamination. Parsons 1981  Information on X. simplicissima whole plant extract is lacking. Berberine is a naturally occurring active constituent in the root, rhizome, and stem bark of many medicinally important plants, with no genotoxic, cytotoxic, or mutagenic effects reported with clinical doses. Kumar 2015

Index Terms

  • Zanthorhiza apiifolia

source :: https://www.drugs.com/npp/yellow-root.html