Berberine (Phellodendron) - how to take

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2017
Total Posts : 1988
   Posted 1/14/2018 5:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I recently got some phellodendron, which is a berberine. It is supposed to help kill lots of pathogens in the gut. I just finished a bottle and ordered some more. I'd like some help from those who know more about it.

Is it effective by itself for gut problems or does it need to be combined with other herbs?

What dosage should it be taken at?

How long is it safe to take?

I'm currently taking high dose probiotics (Orthomolecular 225 - 225 billion). No effect on my gut issues (IBS-C, recalcitrant constipation for 2+ years). Sometimes I eat fermented food, too (sauerkraut, goat kefir). Should I keep taking these high dose probiotics while taking berberine, or should I leave it out and just eat fermented food or switch to a lower dose probiotic?

I just read this article this afternoon, and it says berberine should not be taken for longer than 2 weeks and lists some possible adverse effects. Also suggests taking lower dose of probiotics while taking herbal antibiotics. I have no idea how scientifically valid this article is. (

I'm thinking not taking such high dose probiotics while taking herbal antibiotics may be a good idea. I want the berberine to kill whatever mix of bad stuff is in my gut and not get hindered by megadose probiotics, especially when they seem to have no effect on me anyhow. BUT, I did just come off of 10 days of Augmentin for a sinus infection.

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 36310
   Posted 1/14/2018 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know much of anything about philodendron, but I do deal with the recalcitrant constipation!! That's been most of my 54 years now. And it's even worse when these infections are active!!! I did have a 2 year window where I was in remission and had very few digestive issues, other than a tendency for constipation - but it wasn't a daily struggle.

Honestly, it all depends on exactly what is causing the constipation. For me it has a lot to do with intestinal cramping bad enough to create pseudo-blockages. But, I also had a lot of something else going on in there! I started using cistus incanus and it's been really helping, but I had to go extremely slow and be extremely patient in getting started on it.

As far as the probiotics are concerned, I would encourage you to NOT reduce your dose, unless you are taking too much and it's causing issues. The herbs that are antimicrobial are just as hard as pharma drugs on the intestines, so probiotics are needed just as much as if we were taking pharma abx.
Herb only treatment for Lyme & Bart ended 12/11 - no active symptoms for 2 yrs -Herb only treatment for Babesia ended 12/12
Had Lyme, Bart, Babs, RMSF, Ehrlichia, Myco, Anaplasmosis, EBV
New set of infections 8/2014 - still treating.
Come visit me:

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 9729
   Posted 1/15/2018 10:58 AM (GMT -6)   
When I switched completely to herbs I did not have to do any probiotics in pill form. I did my probiotics all in food or drink form. But..... I had no problems that I knew required probiotics. I eat one heck of a lot of probiotics in my kombucha every morning and my lunch and dinner plates have a fermented food on them. Not a lot, just at least a tablespoon.

Grapefruit seed extract can really interact with probiotics and needs to be taken away from each other. I can't find anything requiring phellodendron to be taken separate from the probiotics.

Like I said in the other thread, I really recommend the bone broth. It is amazing.
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