Corydalis yanhusuo


Corydalis yanhusuo


The Corydalis genus is a relative of the poppy and native to many regions in the Northern Hemisphere and has many different species in China and the Himalayas. It grows in woodland environments and the bright yellow root or tuber is used for medicine. Most yellow roots contain the group of phytochemicals known as alkaloids, and this one is no exception. It has been used by all cultures where it is native, and species found in North America have a long history of use.

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Traditional Health Benefits of Corydalis

Digestive Support, Liver & Cleanse Support, Foundational Support

What is Corydalis Used for?

This particular species has been used to modulate the response to pain and helps "relax the tissues of the digestive apparatus," according to Eclectic physicians Felter & Lloyd.* Corydalis earned a particularly strong reputation with the Eclectic Physicians practicing in the United States in the mid to late 1800's as an alterative, more commonly referred to as a "cleansing" herb. All alkaloids and most yellowish roots have bitter principles that help to tonify digestion and encourage healthy peristalsis*. Corydalis was also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to move stagnant Qi and blood and alleviate occasional discomfort association with lack of movement of fluids*.

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Active Constituents of Corydalis

corydaline, tetrahydropalmatine, protopine, tetrahydrocorysamine, tetrahydrocoptisine, tetrahydroberberine, tetrahydrocolumbamine, noroxyhydrastine, dehydrocorydaline, glaucine, columbamine, 8-oxocoptisine, 13-methyl-columbamine, coptisine, palmatine, herberine, oxoglaucine, 13-methyl-palmatrubine, dehydrocorybulbine, stepharanine, adenosine, and N5 -acetylornithine.

Parts Used


Additional Resources

1.) King's American Dispensatory, 1898, by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D. 2.) Lu Z, Sun W, Duan X, Yang Z, Liu Y, Tu P. [Chemical constituents from Corydalis yanhusuo]. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2012 Jan;37(2):235-7. 3.) Li, H. L., Zhang, W. D., Liu, R. H., Zhang, C., Han, T., Wang, X. W., Wang, X. L., Zhu, J. B., and Chen, C. L. Simultaneous determination of four active alkaloids from a traditional Chinese medicine Corydalis saxicola Bunting. (Yanhuanglian) in plasma and urine samples by LC-MS-MS. J Chromatogr.B Analyt.Technol.Biomed.Life Sci. 2-2-2006;831(1-2):140-146. 4.) McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997. 5.) Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C. PDR for Herbal Medicines. 1st ed. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 1998.

Important Precautions

Not for use during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

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