What is Corydalis? How Can it Help Me with Pain?

What is Corydalis? How Can it Help Me with Pain?


Pain is considered the most common complaint worldwide for which patients seek treatment. Conventional analgesic agents play an important role in modern pain therapy, but they cause several adverse effects.

Therefore, newer and better analgesics continue to be investigated. In this controlled clinical trial, the authors evaluated the analgesic effects of Corydalis yanhusuo.

Corydalis yanhusuo is a medicinal plant used for centuries for its analgesic properties, 

The active compound, dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB), is effective at alleviating thermally induced acute pain. Additionally, it displays moderate dopamine receptor antagonist activities. By using selective pharmacological compounds and dopamine receptor knockout (KO) mice, we show that DHCB antinociceptive effect is primarily due to its interaction with D2 receptors, at least at low doses. We further show that DHCB is effective against inflammatory pain and injury-induced neuropathic pain and furthermore causes no antinociceptive tolerance.

What Is Corydalis? 

Corydalis is an herb often used in traditional Chinese medicine for pain relief. Experts say it can be used for headaches, menstrual pain and back pain – even back pain caused by nerve problems or muscle spasms. Corydalis has been used since ancient times, in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Modern studies suggest that corydalis may be effective at treating pain triggered by cold and may help block inflammation and nerve pain. 


A compound, dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB), is thought to be responsible for the herb’s pain-relieving effects. Corydalis appears to work similarly to prescription pain medications that block pain signals in the brain. However, experts say corydalis can be used to treat chronic pain without carrying the same risk of addiction that many prescription pain medications do. 

A Novel Analgesic Isolated from Corydalis Yanhusuo

Dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB) is an alkaloid isolated from Corydalis yanhusuo.[1] Dehydrocorybulbine binds to the dopamine D1 receptor.

Research has indicated that DHCB can be helpful in reducing neuropathic pain.[2][3]

•DHCB is isolated from C. yanhusuo, a plant used for centuries for pain relief against acute, inflammatory, and neuropathic pains and its inhibitory activity at the dopamine D2 receptor is responsible for relief. Also, the isolated compound does not appear to produce dependence or tolerance. 

According to Wikipedia: 

Corydalis yanhusuo is a species of genus Corydalis. The Chinese name for Corydalis yanhusuo is yan hu suo (Chinese: 延胡索; pinyinyán hú suǒ; literally: "extended barbarian rope"). The Japanese common name is engosaku (エンゴサク) and the Korean common name is hyeonhosaek (현호택). English common names include yanhusuo, corydalis, and Asian corydalis. The tuber of this plant, frequently mislabeled as the root, is an important therapeutic agent in traditional Chinese medicine. It is native to high-altitude grasslands across China including in the provinces of AnhuiHenanHubeiHunanJiangsu, and Zhejiang, but is more widely cultivated.

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