The History and Health Benefits of Corydalis

An overview of corydalis along with its impact on pain, inflammation, cardiovascular health, and more.

According to the National Institute of Health, an estimated 25.3 million American adults experience pain on a daily basis, and 23.4 million adults categorize their pain as being significant.

Because so many Americans suffer from high levels of ongoing pain, the quest for more treatment options has gained momentum over the last several years, and the need to find effective natural solutions is more important than ever.

Fortunately, scientists, medical professionals, and herbalists are tapping into the full therapeutic benefits of naturally occurring, plant-based ingredients, and the modern use of corydalis has been somewhat of a game-changer.

What is corydalis?Corydalis flowers blooming in early spring

Corydalis is a flowering herbal plant commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere, and most prevalent in China, Japan, and Siberia. It belongs to the Papaveraceae family, a close relative of the poppy, and it is known to support muscle and joint comfort by increasing blood flow. It can also be beneficial for helping the body maintain a healthy inflammatory response and provide relief for discomfort due to exercise, overwork or stress.

Just like most naturally occurring yellow roots, corydalis contains phytonutrients, commonly known as alkaloids. It is these alkaloids that serve as the active therapeutic component of the plant.

The use of corydalis in traditional Chinese medicine

Corydalis, also referred to as Yan Hu Suo, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for centuries, where it is thought to nourish the blood, naturally relieve discomfort, and circulate the qi (flow of energy).

According to TCM theory, the primary reason for pain is “qi blockage,” and corydalis is thought to release the blockage. The herb is also known to positively affect the heart, lungs, liver, and stomach.

Modern Uses of Corydalis

The components of the corydalis plant that are used for therapeutic purposes are the root and tuber, otherwise known as the corydalis rhizome. Within that rhizome are the naturally occurring compounds – alkaloids – which have a bitter taste, act as a protective mechanism for the plant, and, when properly consumed, interact with the human body to improve health.

There are over a dozen various alkaloids in the corydalis plant; research has shown that tetrahydropalmatine (THP) and dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB), two of the most potent alkaloids within corydalis, have both powerful soothing effects.

There are several corydalis health benefits, and it is most commonly used to:

  1. Provide relief for discomfort: by increasing blood flow, the herb essentially lubricates muscles and joints. It has been shown to provide relief for discomfort from exercise, overwork or stress, and promote a soothing feeling of relaxation.
  2. Support a healthy inflammation response: Research has found that various alkaloids within corydalis enhance the body’s response to inflammation and the resulting pain.
  3. Sleeplessness: Due to its sedative effects, corydalis is thought to help induce sleep.
  4. Digestive and Cardiovascular health: Certain studies provide the support that the alkaloids in corydalis promote a healthy response to inflammation along the stomach lining as well in relation to cardiovascular support.

Benefits of corydalis

As the medical community continues to search for effective, natural solutions for the growing levels of ongoing pain in the United States, corydalis is showing itself to be a strong option. For this reason, Rightful For Pain & Recovery includes the herb in its shortlist of science-backed ingredients.

Although this herb is thought to be effective for supporting a healthy response to pain, inflammation, and other issues related to the nervous system, it should only be taken as instructed. Consult your chosen medical professional or herbalist, and reach out to our Customer Care Team and on-staff pharmacist via email at with any questions or concerns!

Learn more about how we combine corydalis with other powerful, plant-based ingredients to provide a natural solution to pain.