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Parts Used & Where Grown
Corydalis is an herb native to the Chinese province of Zhejiang. The portion of the plant that is used medicinally is the tuberous rhizome.1
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1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
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Refer to label instructions
Corydalis contains several ingredients, one of which has been shown to influence the nervous system, providing pain relief and promoting relaxation.
Corydalis contains several ingredients, one of which has been shown to influence the nervous system, providing pain relief and promoting relaxation. People with insomnia were able to fall sleep more easily after taking 100 to 200 mg per day of a corydalis extract (called dl-tetrahydropalmatine, or DHP), according to a preliminary report.People taking the extract reported no drug hangover symptoms, such as dizziness or vertigo.
Take an amount supplying 75 mg per day of tetrahydropalmatine (THP)
Preliminary reports indicate that THP (an alkaloid from the plant corydalis) may be effective in reducing nerve pain.
Preliminary reports from Chinese researchers also note that 75 mg per day of THP (an alkaloid from the plant corydalis) was effective in reducing nerve pain in 78% of those tested.
Refer to label instructions
An active constituent in corydalis, dl-tetrahydropalmatine, may have an anti-arrhythmic effect on the heart.
An active constituent in corydalis, dl-tetrahydropalmatine (dl-THP), may exert an anti-arrhythmic action on the heart. This action was observed in a preliminary trial with 33 patients suffering from a specific type of arrhythmia called supraventricular premature beat or SVPB. Each patient took 300 to 600 mg of dl-THP per day in tablet form, and the dl-THP was found to be significantly more effective than placebo in reducing arrhythmia.
Refer to label instructions
A constituent of corydalis called tetrahydropalmatine appears to heave pain-relieving and sedative effects. It has shown to be effective for painful menstruation.
Corydalis contains several alkaloids, and one called tetrahydropalmatine (THP) is considered to be the most potent. In laboratory research, THP has been shown to exhibit a wide number of pharmacological actions on the central nervous system, including pain-relieving and sedative effects. According to a secondary reference, painful menstruation responded favorably to the administration of THP. For a pain-relieving effect, the recommended amount for the crude dried rhizome is 5-10 grams per day. Alternatively, one can take 10-20 ml per day of a 1:2 extract.
Refer to label instructions
Corydalis extracts are useful in relieving pain and in treating stomach ulcers.
Extracts of the herb corydalis are not only helpful as pain-relief agents but also may be useful in the treatment of stomach ulcers. In a study of people with stomach and intestinal ulcers or chronic inflammation of the stomach lining, 90 to 120 mg of corydalis extract per day (equal to 5 to 10 grams of the crude herb) was found to be effective in 76% of the participants.
Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, corydalis is said to invigorate the blood, move qi (energy that travels through the body), and alleviate pain, including menstrual, abdominal, and hernial.2
How It Works
How It Works
Scientists have isolated a number of alkaloids from the tuber of corydalis, including corydaline, tetrahydropalmatine (THP), dl-Tetrahydropalmatine (dl-THP), protopine, tetrahydrocoptisine, tetrahydrocolumbamine, and corybulbine.3 Of the full range of 20 alkaloids found in the plant, THP is considered to be the most potent. In laboratory research, it has been shown to exhibit a wide number of pharmacological actions on the central nervous system, including analgesic and sedative effects.4 dl-THP has been found to exhibit a tranquilizing action in mice. Scientists have suggested that dl-THP blocks certain receptor sites (e.g., dopamine) in the brain to cause sedation.5
In addition to its central nervous system effects, studies in the laboratory have shown the alkaloids from corydalis also have cardiovascular actions. For example, dl-THP has been shown to both decrease the stickiness of platelets and protect against stroke,6 as well as lower blood pressure and heart rate in animal studies.7 Additionally, it seems to exert an anti-arrhythmic action on the heart. This was found in a small double-blind clinical trial with patients suffering from a specific type of heart arrhythmia (e.g., supra-ventricular premature beat or SVPB).8 People taking 300-600 mg of dl-THP per day in tablet form, had a significantly greater improvement than those taking placebo pills.
Other human clinical trials on dl-THP have shown the ability to fall asleep was improved in people suffering from insomnia after taking 100-200 mg of dl-THP at bedtime. No drug hangover symptoms such as morning grogginess, dizziness or vertigo were reported by people taking the alkaloid extract.9
Reports from Chinese researchers also note that 75 mg of THP daily was effective in reducing nerve pain in 78% of the patients tested.10 Painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea), abdominal pain after childbirth, and headache have also been reported to be successfully treated with THP.11
Extracts of the herb may also be useful in the treatment of stomach ulcers. In a large sample of patients with stomach and intestinal ulcers or chronic inflammation of the stomach lining, a 90-120 mg extract of the herb per day (equal to 5-10 grams of the crude herb) was found to improve healing and symptoms in 76% of the patients.12
How to Use It
For an analgesic or sedative effect, the crude, dried rhizome is usually recommended at 5-10 grams per day.13 Alternatively, one can take 10-20 ml per day of a 1:2 extract.14
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
Interactions with Medicines
1. Zhu YP. Chinese Materia Media: Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Applications. Australia: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998, 445-8.
2. Bensky D, Gamble A, Kaptchuk T. Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica. Vista, CA: Eastland Press, 1993, 270.
3. Hsu HY. Oriental Materia Medica: A Concise Guide. Long Beach, CA: Oriental Healing Arts Institute, 1986, 448-50.
4. Zhu YP. Chinese Materia Media: Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Applications. Australia: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998, 445-8.
5. Zhu YP. Chinese Materia Media: Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Applications. Australia: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998, 445-8.
6. Xing JF, Wang MN, Ma XY, et al. Effects of dl-tetrahydropalmatine on rabbit platelet aggregation and experimental thrombosis in rats. Chin Pharm Bull 1997;13:258-60.
7. Lin MT, Chueh FY, Hsieh MT, et al. Antihypertensive effects of dl-tetrahydropalmatine: an active principle isolated from corydalis. Clin Exper Pharm Physiol 1996;23:738-42.
8. Xiaolin N, Zhenhua H, Xin M, et al. Clinical and experimental study of dl-tetrahydropalmatine effect in the treatment of supraventricular arrhythmia. J Xi'An Med Univ 1998;10:150-3.
9. Chang HM, But PPH. Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica vol 1. Singapore: World Scientific Inc., 1986, 521.
10. Lin DZ, Fang YS. Modern Study and Application of Materia Medica. Hong Kong: China Ocean Press, 1990, 323-5.
11. Zhu YP. Chinese Materia Media: Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Applications. Australia: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998, 445-8.
12. Chang HM, But PPH. Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica vol 1. Singapore: World Scientific Inc., 1986, 521.
13. Bone K. Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs. Warwick, Queensland, Australia: Phytotherapy Press, 1996, 25-8.
14. Bone K. Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs. Warwick, Queensland, Australia: Phytotherapy Press, 1996, 25-8.
15. Bensky D, Gamble A, Kaptchuk T. Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica. Vista, CA: Eastland Press, 1993, 270.
16. Horowitz RS, Feldhaus K, Dart RC, et al. The clinical spectrum of Jin Bu Huan toxicity. Arch Int Med 1996;156:899-903.
17. Kaptchuk TJ, Woolf GM, Vierling JM. Acute hepatitis associated with Jin Bu Huan. Ann Int Med 1995;122:636.
18. Anonymous. Jin Bu Huan toxicity in adults-Los Angeles, 1993. JAMA 1994;271:423-4.
19. Chang HM, But PPH. Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica vol 1. Singapore: World Scientific Inc., 1986, 521.
Last Review: 03-24-2015
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