Health Benefits of Coptic Salt [Chinese coptis]

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Health-Benefits-of-Coptic-SaltCoptis chinensis goes by many names; Chinese coptis, Chinese goldthread, ch’uan-lien and huang lian has been documented as one of the oldest known Chinese medicines. This ancient anti-inflammatory herb is often used to treat gastrointestinal problems. According to Chinese medicinal pharmacopoeia, Chinese coptis is one of the strongest herbs to eliminate heat and dampness (swelling and inflammation), and to remove toxins.

Many of the health benefits of Chinese coptis originate in its roots or rhizomes. Rhizoma Coptidis is the source of several compounds thought to enhance health, including berberine, a chemical found to possess antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Berberine is an ammonium salt found in Chinese coptis rhizomes and widely used to prevent various diseases including inflammatory conditions such as intestinal and lung infections. And is one of the key ingredients in skin remedies for psoriasis, eczema, acne and abscess.

Berberine has been shown to lower blood sugar, cause weight loss and improve heart health. Berberine is very effective at lowering both blood sugar and HbA1c markers which are elevated in people with diabetes. In a study published in the Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, [1] 1 gram of berberine per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 20%, from diabetic levels to normal levels, while also lowering hemoglobin A1c by 12%.

Similar scientific and clinical studies show that Chinese coptis and its active ingredients including berberine:

  • Inhibit inflammatory markers and cell molecules involved in inflammatory responses.
  • Enhance insulin sensitivity, increase insulin receptors and reduce insulin resistance.
  • Reduce formation of free radicals and prevent oxidative damage.
  • Suppress neuroinflammatory responses and provide protective effects in disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral ischemia, depression, schizophrenia and anxiety.
  • Exhibit anti-proliferation and anti-cancer activity.
  • Prevent bone loss by inhibiting bone resorption and improving bone formation.
  • Suppress autoimmune responses.
  • Delay maturation of fat cells and prevent obesity and weight gain.

Modern medical and pharmacological actions of Chinese coptis and rhizoma coptidis:

  • Coptis provides a strong antibacterial effect on staphylococcus, streptococcus, pneumococcus, cholerae, Bacillus anthracis, and dysentery bacteria. [2]
  • Coptis also has a limited antibacterial effect on Klebsiella pneumoniae, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Bacillus subtilis, Bordetella pertussis, brucellosis and tuberculosis. [2]
  • Berberine has been shown to stimulate the heart, increase its contractility, and increase coronary blood flow when used in small dose. It also suppresses the heart and reduces its contraction when used in large doses. [3]
  • Berberine has been shown to reduce myocardial oxygen consumption.
  • Both coptis and berberine produce an anti-ulcer effect. [4]

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