Health knowledge and news provided by doctors.

Relieve Chronic Pain Naturally with Corydalis Yanhusuo

chronic pain corydalis

Chronic pain, including chronic neuropathic pain, is poorly and often inadequately treated by conventional medicine. Yet for centuries, there has been a way to relieve chronic pain naturally with corydalis yanhusuo, a flowering herb that has been studied in recent years, including a new report.


What is corydalis yanhusuo?

The herb corydalis is native to Zhejiang, a province in China, and is a common remedy in traditional Chinese medicine. The tuberous rhizome has been valued for hundreds of years as a pain killer and is frequently used to manage a variety of acute and chronic pain conditions ranging from menstrual to abdominal and chest pain, among others.

Scientists have isolated and identified 20 alkaloids in the herb, including corydaline, tetrahydropalmatine (THP), and dl-tetrahydropalmatine (dl-THP), to name a few. THP is considered to be the most potent and has been shown to have an impact on the central nervous system, offering both sedative and pain-killing effects.

Corydalis yanhusuo and chronic pain relief

In recent years, scientists have been investigating the pain relieving abilities of this herb in both animal and human studies. The latest such effort comes from a team at the University of California, Irvine, where Olivier Civelli, professor and chair of pharmacology and his colleagues explored how the herb impacts chronic pain.

This latest study involved evaluating the effect of corydalis yanhusuo on acute, persistent inflammatory, and chronic neuropathic pain in mouse models, as well as lab testing to identify how the herb works.

Follow eMaxHealth on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Please, click to subscribe to our Youtube Channel to be notified about upcoming health and food tips.

Here’s what the researchers discovered:

  • Corydalis yanhusuo, unlike morphine, does not result in the development of tolerance after taking the remedy daily for seven consecutive days. Tolerance is a major downside of narcotic painkillers.
  • The herb appears to work as a potent dopamine receptor blocker. Research has shown that dopamine seems to have a role in sustaining chronic pain, thus blocking the receptors can reduce this type of pain.
  • Corydalis yanhusuo “is not a highly potent medicine when compared to morphine, but I [Civelli] would propose that it can be used for low to moderate chronic pain.”

Other research on corydalis yanhusuo and chronic pain

The authors of another recent animal study reported that L-tetrahydropalmatine reduced both chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in mice. This study also showed the involvement of dopamine receptors.

An earlier study involved a rat model of trigeminal neuropathic pain. The authors found convincing evidence that dl-THP “may offer a useful therapeutic approach for trigeminal neuropathic pain.”

Should you try corydalis yanhusuo for chronic pain?

Corydalis yanhusuo is available in supplement form in the United States. Possible side effects include nausea, vertigo, and fatigue. Consult your healthcare provider before taking this supplement.

Chang HM, But PPH. Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica vol 1. Singapore: World Scientific Inc., 1986, 521.
Huang JY et al. Analgesic effect of corydalis yanhusuo in a rot model of trigeminal neuropathic pain. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao 2010 Sep; 30(9): 2161-64
Wang L et al. The antinociceptive properties of the corydalis yanhusuo extract. PLoS One 2016; 11(9): e0162875
Zhou HH et al. L-tetrahydropalmatine alleviates mechanical hyperalgesia in models of chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in mice. Neuroreport 2016 May 4; 27(7): 476-80
Zhu YP. Chinese Materia Media: Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Applications. Australia: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998, 445-48.

Image courtesy Pixabay