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InnerCareNatural Health - Naturopath & Nutritionist
Vivid Corydalis flowers in full bloom, showcasing the herb of the month with delicate blue and purple petals against a lush green background

What is Corydalis?

Corydalis belongs to the Papaveraceae family, more commonly known as the poppy family. It has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine to not only relieve pain but also to aid with insomnia and anxiety, improve blood flow, promote energy movement throughout the body, treat stomach ulcers, and ease headaches, muscle pain, and menstrual cramps. For those suffering from heavy periods accompanied by severe pain, Corydalis might offer some much-needed relief.

Better than morphine?

What sets Corydalis apart in the world of analgesics is its potent pain-relieving capability, which has been likened to that of morphine and other opioids. However, unlike its pharmaceutical counterparts, Corydalis does not come with the baggage of side effects and addiction. This makes it a safer alternative for managing pain, especially for those seeking non-addictive options.

The magic behind its analgesic and sedative activities lies in one of its active constituents, the alkaloid tetrahydropalmatine. This compound works by blocking postsynaptic dopaminergic receptors in the brain, thereby reducing pain perception.

A Note of Caution

Despite its many benefits, Corydalis is not without its caveats. It is advised not to be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Additionally, prolonged use may lead to tolerance towards its analgesic effects. Therefore, it is generally recommended not to use Corydalis for more than three months at a stretch.


Corydalis presents a fascinating option for those exploring natural methods to manage pain and various other conditions. With its roots deeply planted in traditional Chinese medicine and promising results in pain management without the risk of addiction, it certainly warrants further exploration. However, like any remedy, natural or otherwise, it is crucial to approach its use with caution and under professional guidance.

Before embarking on any herbal treatment, it's essential to consult with a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician. This step ensures that Corydalis is suitable for your specific health needs and circumstances.

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If you are seeking a professionally qualified naturopath in Brisbane, book your appointment now.

Inna Kurlyandchik | BHSc (Naturopathy), Grad Cert Nutr, PhD candidate

30 October 2022

Herb of the month - Corydalis

In the realm of natural remedies and traditional medicine, one herb that has been garnering attention for its remarkable pain-relieving properties is Corydalis (Corydalis yanhusuo). This Chinese herb, steeped in centuries of history, is not just another addition to the long list of natural remedies; it stands out for its efficacy and the breadth of ailments it can address.

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