The 17+ Benefits Of Huang-Bai

A Powerful Herb From The Amur Cork-Tree 

Huang-Bai has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for the treatment of depression, meningitis, bacterial infections, pneumonia, tuberculosis, liver scarring and more. R

In this post, we’ll discuss its benefits, mechanism of action, and the properties of different blends of this herb.




  1. Basics
  2. Benefits
  3. My Experience
  4. Where To Get Huang Bai
  5. Caveats
  6. Mechanism Of Action
  7. More Research


Huang Bai (Phellodendri cortex chinesis and phellodendron cortex amurense) comes from the Amur Cork-Tree.

It is one of the most common herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). R R

In TCM, Huang Bai has been used and studied in over 21 types of TCM decoctions (preparations). R

Berberine (one of the bioactive components of Huang Bai) has many benefits on its own, so if you want to see my post on that, click here. R




1. Increases Growth Hormone



Growth hormone is necessary for many biological processes including stimulating growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration. R

Huang Bai can increase growth hormone. R

2. Protects Against Neurodegeneration

Berberine in Huan-Bai and Amur Cork-Tree can increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). R

Neuroinflammation (inflammation of the brain) is linked to many degenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and DementiaR

Huang Bai can suppress this neuroinflammation. R

Huang Bai can also protect against beta-amyloid plaque in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). R

It is even more powerful against AD in the decoction called Huang Lian Jie Du Tang (HLJDD). R

Huang Bai inhibits acetylcholinesterase, increasing levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain. R

Huang Bai may also help with brain fog by reducing the number of mast cellsR R

Berberine from Huang Bai may protect the brain during stroke. R

After stroke, HLJDD may provide significant benefits. R

3. Has Anti-Depressant Effects

In multiple double-blind, placebo controlled studies, Relora (a combination of Huan-Bai and Magnolia Bark) can help male adults with stressmood, energy, and anger, thus preventing “burnout”. R R

In another placebo-controlled double-blind clinical trial with women, Relora was able to reduce anxiety, appetite, and stress, while improve sleep. R

Huang Bai helps with mood by inhibiting the degradation of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, thus increasing neurotransmitters in the brain. R

4. Protects The Skin Against The Sun

Huang Bai can protect the skin against Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) damage and may prevent sunburns. R

5. Helps With Early Puberty

Precocious Puberty (PP) is a condition in which a child’s body begins changing into that of an adult too soon. R

Huang Bai in a decoction called Nourishing “Yin” Removing “Fire” (NYRF) can delay this and slow down the growth of genitalia. R

6. May Help Allergies



Huang Bai (as well as HLJDD) can help with eczema by reducing inflammation and allergies of the skin. R R

It reduces histamine and other inflammatory cytokines. R

Huang Bai can help with asthma. R R

7. Has Anti-Microbial And Anti-Viral Effects

Huang Bai has berberine and 3-o-feruloylquinic acid, which has significant anti-bacterial effects. R

Huang Bai may protect against:

Berberine may also make beta-lactam antibiotics more effective. R 

It is also effective against biofilms. R

Huang Bai can reduce the reproduction of:

  • Coronavirus R
  • Coxsackie Virus R
  • Hepatitis R
  • Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV1) R R
  • Influenza (H1N1, H5N2, H7N3 and H9N2) R
  • Vesicular Stomatitis Virus R

Berberine is also an anti-fungal against Candida. R

8. Helps With Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an inflammatory and/or infectious disorder of the upper female genital tract, which can result in infertility. R

Huang Bai can reduce the inflammation in PID. R R R

Huang Bai in a decoction called Er-Miao-San is a powerful anti-inflammatory. R

9. Helps With Ulcers

Huang Bai protects against ulcer formation induced by alcohol and NSAIDsR

Huang Bai’s anti-ulcer effects are more powerful than the drug omeprazole. R

10. May Help With Swelling

Huang Bai may help with swelling and edema. R

11. May Help With Diabetes

Huang Bai may reduce symptoms of diabetic neuropathyR

It may also reduce fasting glucose levels. R

Huang Bai may also help with regulation of normal insulin levels. R

12. May Help With Gout

Huang Bai can reduce levels of uric acid. R

13. May Fight Cancer

Amur Cork-Tree may inhibit tumor formation. R

It may be protective against:

  • Colon Cancer R
  • Lung Cancer R
  • Prostate Cancer R R R

14. May Help With Arthritis



Huang Bai can reduce inflammation in cartilage and protect collagen. R 

In patients with high C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels, Huang Bai was able to help osteoarthritic patients with weight and reduce inflammation markers. R

Huang Bai may help the heart in arthritis patients by reducing triglycerides, LDL levels and fasting glucose levels, but increasing HDL levels. R

15. May Help With Osteoporosis

Huang Bai in a decoction called Jasin Hwan Gagambang (BHH10) helps osteoporosis by increasing bone density and collagen. R

16. May Prevent Weight Gain

Oleic acid in Huang Bai may inhibit the formation of fat, decrease weight gain, and suppress hunger. R

17. May Help The Prostate

Huang Bai may decrease prostate contractions. R

This may be useful for urological disorders caused by prostatic urethral obstruction, such as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). R

My Experience

I noticed better exercise recovery and sleep with Huang Bai.

Taking HLJDD helps relieve any brain fog.

Relora definitely improves my mood. 

I will report back when I’ve tried the others.

Where To Get Huang Bai



  • Er-Miao-San – good for inflammation
  • Huang-Bai – good for pain and weight
  • Huang-Lian-Jie-Du Decoction – powerful for inflammation and memory as it antagonizes TLR4
  • JasinHwan-Gagambang – good for bone regulation
  • Nourishing “Yin” Removing “Fire” – powerful for hormone regulation
  • Relora – great for mood and times of stress


Huang Bai and Amur-Cork Tree are non toxic and safe at normal doses and do not create electrolyte imbalances. R R R R

Huang Bai may delay puberty. R

Huang Bai and Amur Cork-Tree may interact with drugs utilizing the cytochrome P450 pathway. R

BHH10 has estrogenic activity. R

Mechanism Of Action


  • Increases ACh (C) (H) R R
  • Increases BDNF R
  • Increases Beta-Endorphin (N) R
  • Increases BMP-2 (J) R
  • Increases cAMP R
  • Increases ChAT (H) R
  • Increases CYP1A2 R
  • Increases DA (A) R
  • Increases GH (C) R
  • Increases GSH (A) (H) R R
  • Increases HDL (A) R
  • Increases IL-10 (H) R
  • Increases NE (A) R
  • Increases NPY (N) R
  • Increases Sematostatin (N) R
  • Increases TIMP-1 (A) R
  • Increases 5-HT (A) R
  • Reduces ACh (C) R
  • Reduces AChE (C) R
  • Reduces Aggrecanase-1 (A) R
  • Reduces Aggrecanase-2 (A) R
  • Reduces ALP (J) R
  • Reduces Alpha-Glucosidase R
  • Reduces Bcl-2 (A) R
  • Reduces Caspace-3 (C) R
  • Reduces Cortisol R
  • Reduces CRP R
  • Reduces COX-2 (C) (A) R
  • Reduces CYP1A2 R
  • Reduces Cytochrome C (C) R
  • Reduces Estrogen (N) R
  • Reduces FSH (C) R
  • Reduces Glucose (A) (C) R R
  • Reduces GnRH (C) R
  • Reduces Histamine (H) R
  • Reduces Kiss-1 (N) R
  • Reduces IGF-1 (N) R
  • Reduces IκBα (E) R
  • Reduces IFN-gamma (A) R
  • Reduces IL-1b (C) (A) (E) R R R
  • Reduces IL-4 (H) (A) R R
  • Reduces IL-6 (C) (A) R
  • Reduces IL-13 (A) R
  • Reduces LDL (A) R
  • Reduces LH (N) R
  • Reduces MAO (A) R
  • Reduces MCP-1 (H) (E) RR
  • Reduces MMP1(A) R
  • Reduces MMP3 (A) R
  • Reduces MMP13 (A) R
  • Reduces MPO (C) (A) R
  • Reduces alphaMSH (A) R
  • Redu
    ces NO (C) R R
  • Reduces OCN (J) R
  • Reduces PSA (A) R
  • Reduces PTP1B (A) R
  • Reduces Uric Acid R R
  • Reduces ROS (C) (A) R
  • Reduces TLR4 (H) R
  • Reduces TNF-Alpha (C) (A) (E) R R R R
  • Reduces XDH R
  • Reduces XO R


  • Oren or Cortex Phellodendri Chinensis (CPC) and Cortex Phellodendri Amurensis (CPA) are widely used in China, however berberine, berberastine, phellodendrine, and chlorogenic acid are higher in CPC than that of CPA, whereas obacunone, obaculactone, palmatine, tetramethyl-o-scutellarin, and limonoids are significantly higher in CPA than that of CPC. R
  • Berberine and 3-o-feruloylquinic acid display the antidiarrheal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory activities in CPC, while obaculactone and obacunone provide neuroprotective and anticancer activity in CPA. R
  • Huan Bai along with Zhi Mu and DiHuang (NYRF) downregulates the expression of excitatory amino acid and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) mRNA in the hypothalamus; follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and GH mRNA in the hypophysis; and insulin-like growth factor- (IGF-) I mRNA in the metaphysic, while upregulating the expression of inhibitory amino acid, neuropeptide Y (NPY), β-endorphin, and somatostatin mRNA in the hypothalamus. R R
  • NYRF was shown to delay vaginal opening and to downregulate serum estradiol levels as well as the expression of Kiss-1 and GnRH mRNA in the hypothalamus. R R
  • Berberine can increase BDNF and cyclic AMP in the hippocampus. R
  • HLJDD reduces O, IL-1β, IL-4, MCP-1 and GM-CSF, inhibits the transcriptional activity of NF-κB and IκBα degradation, inhibiting the release of β-hexosaminidase and histamine, and reduces TNF-α. R
  • Magnoflorine is responsible for most of the anti-diabetic effects of cortex phellodendri. R
  • Amur Cork Tree inhibits protein tyrosinase phosphatase 1b (PTP1B) a major negative regulaor in the insulin and leptin signaling pathway. R
  • NBAECP can inhibit acetylcholine-induced contractions in the lungs, while HLJDD can increase acetylcholine and antagonize TLR4. R R
  • In the hippocampus phellodendrine and berberine inhibit AChE activity in a dose-dependent manner. R
  • C. Phellodendri can inhibit α-glucosidase and xanthine oxidase (XO). R
  • In the immune system it suppresses activation of NF-kB and MAPK. R
  • It looks like it has some effect on thyroid hormones, but I can’t read Chinese. R
  • In tumors, phosphorylated Akt, CREB, and cyclin D1 was significantly reduced in prostate tissue from Nexrutine. R R

More Research

  • The oil from Amur Cork-Tree has insecticidal properties similar to pyrethrum. R