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Herb of the month - Corydalis

Updated: Mar 7

Better than morphine?

Corydalis (Corydalis yanhusuo) is a Chinese herb traditionally used to relieve pain, help with insomnia and anxiety, improve blood flow, move energy throughout the body, treat stomach ulcers, ease headaches, muscle pain and menstrual cramps. Corydalis may also reduce excessive bleeding and is indicated for heavy periods with severe pain.


Corydalis belongs to the poppy (Papaveraceae) family. It is one of the strongest analgesic herbs out there, its effectiveness has been compared with morphine and other opioids. Corydalis , however, unlike opioids, has no side effects and is not addictive. In fact, it has been widely used for the treatment of drug addiction. Analgesic and sedative activity of the herb is attributed to one of its active constituents alkaloid tetrahyropalmatine , which acts mainly by blocking postsynaptic dopaminergic receptors in the brain.


Corydalis should not to be taken while pregnant or breastfeeding. Prolonged use of the herb may result in tolerance to its analgesic effects, therefore it is not recommended to take Corydalis for more than three months.


If you would like to try Corydalis, first consult a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician regarding its suitability for you.



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