Berberine tea is derived from Berberis vulgaris, a plant in Europe and Asia. It can also be extracted from Indian barberry (Berberis aristata) and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) plants, which are common in North America. It is a natural alkaloid in these plants’ roots, stems, and bark.

This article will explore the health benefits and side effects of berberine tea. So, let’s begin.

What is Berberine Tea?

Berberine tea is a herbal tea used for centuries in Chinese medicine to treat skin disorders, weight loss, gastrointestinal issues, and infections. Many plants contain the chemical berberine, including European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, Phellodendron, and tree turmeric. It is yellow and has a bitter taste.

In addition, berberine tea has become popular as a health supplement due to its numerous potential benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, which can help fight off free radicals that cause cell damage and disease.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation associated with certain chronic diseases. Berberine tea can lower blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, and fight off bacteria and viruses.

Benefits of Berberine Tea

Berberine tea has many potential health benefits. Here are some of them.

1. Weight loss

According to research, berberine can lead to considerable weight loss. In addition, those with metabolic syndrome whose BMI was monitored while taking 200 mg of barberry three times a day had significant improvements. [1]

According to the research team’s findings, berberine may stimulate the brown fat tissue. [2] Increasing the activity of this tissue may be useful in treating obesity and metabolic syndrome. However, there is also evidence that berberine might have a comparable effect to the widely used diabetic drug Metformin.

2. Diabetes

There has been an alarming rise in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in recent decades. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels due to insulin resistance or insufficient insulin production.

High blood sugar levels are associated with tissue and organ damage, which can cause various medical disorders and even a reduction in lifespan if left untreated. Multiple studies have shown that berberine can help people with type 2 diabetes considerably lower their blood sugar levels.

People with diabetes often have increased blood sugar and HbA1c levels. However, berberine has been shown to reduce both effectively. It’s just as efficient as oral diabetic medications like metformin, glipizide, and rosiglitazone. [3]

It functions through various methods, which are the following.

  • Reduces insulin resistance, increasing insulin’s efficacy in decreasing blood sugar.
  • Reduces the liver’s glucose production.
  • Inhibits the digestive process through which carbs are absorbed.
  • Boosts glycolysis, a process that aids in breaking down glucose within cells.
  • It boosts the good bacteria in your digestive tract. [4]

Moreover, berberine has additive benefits when used with other blood sugar-reducing medicines and works well with dietary and lifestyle changes.

3. High Cholesterol

The leading cause of mortality throughout the globe is cardiovascular disease. Several blood-based variables have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Heart disease risk factors include diabetes, high blood sugar, and obesity, all of which appear to be reduced by taking this supplement. Numerous of these variables have been proven to be improved by berberine. [5]

Studies have shown that berberine can lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels while increasing HDL (good cholesterol) values. Additionally, some research suggests that berberine achieves its effects by blocking the activity of PCSK9, a protein that controls the LDL levels in the body. [6]

This results in greater clearance of LDL from the circulation.  Therefore, it may reduce the chance of developing heart disease over time. 

4. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

When female hormone levels are abnormally high, a condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can develop. The condition is characterized by a hormonal and metabolic imbalance, which can result in infertility and other health problems.

Various problems accompany PCOS, and berberine may be able to help with some of them. A person with PCOS can have high insulin production, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and overweight.

Metformin, a medicine often used to treat diabetes, is sometimes prescribed by doctors for PCOS. Hence, berberine may be an effective therapy for PCOS since it has been shown to have effects comparable to metformin.

According to a systematic study, berberine has the potential as a therapy for PCOS associated with insulin resistance. These findings, however, need to be confirmed by more studies.

5. Gut Health

Research suggests that berberine’s potential efficacy in treating cancer, inflammation, and diabetes may be due to the compound’s supportive effect on gut flora. [7] Research has also shown a connection between the gut microbiome (colonies of bacteria in the gut) and various diseases.

Because of its antibacterial properties, berberine can eliminate pathogenic bacteria in the digestive tract, allowing good bacteria to thrive. Researchers emphasize that additional study is needed to clarify how berberine affects humans and whether or not it is safe. [8]

6. Bacterial Infections

Researchers have shown that berberine is effective against many pathogenic microbes. A synergistic effect occurs when berberine is used with the antibiotics linezolid, cefoxitin, and erythromycin.

Berberine’s synergistic effect with antibiotics exemplifies the promise of compound combinations as an effective, innovative therapeutic approach for treating bacterial infections that have become resistant to conventional antibiotics. [9]

How to Take Berberine

Talk to your doctor before taking Berberine if you are allergic to it or any other related drugs. Inactive chemicals in the product have the potential to trigger severe allergic responses or other health issues.

Berberine is a supplement that is available in capsule form. Due to the lack of a standard dose, this drug may be taken in increments of 1,000 mg up to 1,500 mg daily. Doses up to 1.5 grams once daily for 6 months are safe.

And as with any medication, one should begin with a low dose and gradually increase to the maximum daily allowance (about 1,500 mg). You can take the drug in three equally spaced dosages, say, 500 milligrams (mg) three times a day.

Also, studies in both humans and animals show that 1500 milligrams of berberine, administered in three equal dosages, is as effective as 1500 mg of metformin or 4 mg of glibenclamide.

How to Make Berberine Tea

First, take two tablespoons of Berberine powder and add it to a cup of hot water. Then, let it steep for five to ten minutes, then drink. Once the tea has cooled, strain it using a fine cloth or filter.

You can mix Berberine powder into tea, smoothies, juice, or yogurt. Also, you can drink warm or chilled berberine tea up to three times daily.

Berberine Tea Side Effects

Most healthy individuals can use berberine without worrying about side effects. Drug interactions involving berberine are prevalent and can be serious. It can drop blood sugar. However, higher dosages might create stomach problems and raise hypoglycemia dangers. Diarrhea, constipation, gas, and stomach distress are common side effects.

Bottomline: Berberine Tea Health Benefits

Herbal teas like berberine tea have been used for centuries in Chinese medicine to treat various ailments. Today, berberine tea is gaining popularity as a health supplement due to its numerous potential benefits.

While more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of berberine tea, there is promising evidence that this herbal tea may be beneficial for treating skin disorders, gastrointestinal issues, and infections.

If you’re looking for an all-natural way to boost your health, consult your healthcare provider before giving berberine tea a try.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Tabeshpour J, Imenshahidi M, Hosseinzadeh H. A review of the effects of Berberis vulgaris and its major component, berberine, in metabolic syndrome. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2017 May;20(5):557-568. doi: 10.22038/IJBMS.2017.8682. PMID: 28656091; PMCID: PMC5478784.
  • Hu X, Zhang Y, Xue Y, Zhang Z, Wang J. Berberine is a potential therapeutic agent for metabolic syndrome via brown adipose tissue activation and metabolism regulation. Am J Transl Res. 2018 Nov 15;10(11):3322-3329. PMID: 30662589; PMCID: PMC6291723.
  • Dong H, Wang N, Zhao L, Lu F. Berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:591654. doi: 10.1155/2012/591654. Epub 2012 Oct 15. PMID: 23118793; PMCID: PMC3478874.
  • Pang B, Zhao LH, Zhou Q, Zhao TY, Wang H, Gu CJ, Tong XL. Application of berberine on treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. Int J Endocrinol. 2015;2015:905749. doi: 10.1155/2015/905749. Epub 2015 Mar 11. PMID: 25861268; PMCID: PMC4377488.
  • Dong H, Zhao Y, Zhao L, Lu F. The effects of berberine on blood lipids: a systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Planta Med. 2013 Apr;79(6):437-46. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1328321. Epub 2013 Mar 19. PMID: 23512497.
  • Cameron J, Ranheim T, Kulseth MA, Leren TP, Berge KE. Berberine decreases PCSK9 expression in HepG2 cells. Atherosclerosis. 2008 Dec;201(2):266-73. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2008.02.004. Epub 2008 Feb 15. PMID: 18355829.
  • Habtemariam, S. (2020). Berberine pharmacology and the gut microbiota: A hidden therapeutic link. Pharmacological Research, 155, 104722.
  • Zhang L, Wu X, Yang R, Chen F, Liao Y, Zhu Z, Wu Z, Sun X, Wang L. Effects of Berberine on the Gastrointestinal Microbiota. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2021 Feb 19;10:588517. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.588517. PMID: 33680978; PMCID: PMC7933196.
  • Wojtyczka RD, Dziedzic A, Kępa M, Kubina R, Kabała-Dzik A, Mularz T, Idzik D. Berberine enhances the antibacterial activity of selected antibiotics against coagulase-negative Staphylococcus strains in vitro. Molecules. 2014 May 22;19(5):6583-96. doi: 10.3390/molecules19056583. PMID: 24858093; PMCID: PMC6272005.


  • Shaira Urbano, Licensed Pharmacist

    Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.


Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.