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The Truth About Corydalis (With Respect to Dr. Oz)

Corydalis for Fibromyalgia?

As of late, there's been a lot of interest in Corydalis root (YAN HU SUO) as a potential treatment for fibromyalgia.

Corydalis has been recommended by the TV personality Dr. Oz, for treatment of fibromyalgia. I thank Dr. Oz for giving rare mention to Chinese herbs, but there are a few things that Dr. Oz didn't have time to say, or didn't know.

In Chinese traditional medicine there are several different disease patterns that are usually diagnosed in the West as fibromyalgia. With due respect to Dr. Oz, Corydalis may not be appropriate for every pattern. The fact is that Corydalis should be avoided during pregnancy. Most Blood Vitalizers, including corydalis, are forbidden during pregnancy, as their strong blood moving characteristics could, at least theoretically, effect young fetus. 

Of equal importance is the fact that to enhance the effect and reduce the chance of side effects, Chinese herbalists combine herbs in formulas. and YAN HU SUO is never used alone.

For example, it is combined with herbs such as RU XIANG (frankincense) and MO YAO (myrrh) for pain from injuries, with ROU GUI (cinnamon bark) for menstrual pain, with XIAO HUI XIANG (fennel) for hernia pain, and with CHUAN XIONG (Liguisticum) for headache. Its pain relieving properties can also be enhanced by frying the whole herb in vinegar. 

Pharmaceutical companies have recently taken an interest in one chemical constituent of this herb, dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB) as potentially useful in creating new, non opioid, drugs for pain relief. It should be pointed out that there are other active alkaloids this herb including corydaline, dl-tetrahydropalmatine, protopine, cory bulbine, β-homochelidonine, and others. The combined alkaloids are considered about 40% as effective as morphine. 

Research has shown that the herb has a light hypnotic and sedative effect in many animals and reduces menstrual flow and pain in humans. 

More info . . . 

Corydalis is available from Shen Clinic Dispensary as a whole herb which is boiled and taken twice a day, as granules which are simply stirred into liquid and taken three times daily, or as capsules which are taken 2-3 times a day. Potent tinctures can be made by immersing the whole herb in vodka (or other alcoholic beverage) for 2 weeks.


* These statements have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.