6 Health Benefits of Corydalis
The Rhizome of the Corydalis ambigua plant has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine for its pain relieving properties. A rhizome is just a type of root that spreads horizontally underground putting out stem and leaf above ground from its little nodes. This rhizome is dried and used in decoctions with water or made into an alcohol tincture. Apart from pain relief, this herb has amazing benefits to the nervous system and the cardiovascular system, I’ve outlined a few below.
#1 Pain relief
If you are looking for pain relief, Corydalis is a star in the herbal world.
In traditional Chinese medicine (Yan Hu Suo) this rhizome is considered to be the best, just behind opium, in herbal relief of pain. It is said to have between 1-10% the analgesic potency of opium, without any of the addictive side effects. In fact, Corydalis and the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) belong to the same plant family, the Papaveraceae family.
It’s known as an analgesic and used most successfully for visceral (internal organ) pain, and pain associated with the nervous system caused by injury or trauma.
Mixed with cinnamon bark it is very effective for dysmenorrhea (painful periods) and mixed with St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) for neuropathic pain.
It can be used for most internal pain such as abdominal pain, endometriosis, chest pain, hernia pain, and headaches.
With its sedative and hypnotic actions, Corydalis is also known as an effective treatment for insomnia without any grogginess or a hangover in the morning. It assists in falling asleep and staying asleep through the night. It could be mixed with another rhizome called valerian (valerian officinalis) or Passionflower (passifora incarnata) for a powerful sleep combination.
As well as being amazing for period pain, it is also known to help with the reduction in menstrual flow (menorrhagia) so is great for heavy painful menstrual bleeding. Adding ginger root (Zingiber officinale) and cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) to the decoction or infusing St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) in after turning off heat, will show wonderful benefits.
Corydalis is also known to help with chronic and acute inflammation taken orally so has applications in helping the symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease, arthritis and other chronic inflammatory illnesses. It can also be used topically in an ointment for relief in arthritis, sprains, and other aches and pains in the body.
#5 Gastrointestinal infection
It’s also useful in treating infected stomach ulcers and infections caused by parasites. Corydalis shows an anti–ulcer activity with no remarkable side effects. The constituent found in Corydalis responsible for this anti-peptic ulcer action is called dehydrocorydaline and may reduce the H. pylori infection that cause the ulcers. It may also be useful in the treatment of the infection caused by Echinococcus granulosus that comes from the Hydatid worm.
It’s known as a blood moving herb, so helps with circulatory problems, sticky blood as well as the pain that blood stasis can cause. It has traditionally been used to treat heart arrhythmia and palpitations and even shows promise in the reducing the size and occurrence of myocardial infarction (heart attacks). Corydalis acts peripherally to help lower blood pressure.
This herb is best used in combination with other herbs depending upon the condition you are treating, I have mentioned a few combinations above, but by all means do your own research and discover for yourself what will compliment this amazing herb.
Corydalis is contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding or if you suffer kidney or liver disease, and you should be very careful if on blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin, because of its anti-coagulant properties. Corydalis may also make sedative/hypnotic drugs stronger, so take care if using those.
How to Use Corydalis
The whole root can be simmered for 15 in water (decoction)
For pain relief use 5-10 g of root per day
For the other effects such as insomnia or blood stasis use 2–6 grams a day.
This herb has a very bitter taste so I suggest mixing with other herbs and honey to taste.
I really hope you find benefit in using this herb especially for people suffering from pain and be sure to let us know how it works for you.