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The Corydalis genus is a relative of the poppy and native to many regions in the Northern Hemisphere and has over different species in China and the Himalaya’s. 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.


This particular species has been used to modulate the response to pain and helps relax the tissues of the digestive apparatus*. 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*.

Uses of Corydalis


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.

Active Constituents

(due to the Federal Government Shutdown, the Phytochemical Database through the USDA is not available to reference this as of writing 10.7.2013)

Parts Used

  • Tubers

Important precautions

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

Additional Resources

King’s American Dispensatory, 1898, by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.

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