Corydalis for pain relief

Corydalis yanhusuo is a Chinese herb that has well documented effects on various types of pain: acute, inflammatory, neuropathic, and bone cancer pain. It can block even moderate to severe post-surgical pain, and does not cause tolerance. I want to share an amazing testimonial reported this week to me by a patient.

Are there studies?

Whenever I am told about an herbal remedy for anything, I first go to the online peer-reviewed scientific literature at to learn what has been reported about it. When I learned from my patient about Corydalis for pain, the first online study[1] I read was work done in 2016 on mice entitled, “The Antinociceptive Properties of the Corydalis yanhusuo Extract.” The authors reported: “Our results therefore indicate that [Corydalis] effectively attenuates acute, inflammatory and neuropathic pain, without causing tolerance.”

This certainly peaked my interest! Moreover, other studies corroborate this same effect of Corydalis. Let me share a few of them I found on

An article in a 2014 issue of Current Biology[2] discusses an analgesic compound from Corydalis yanhusuo with and “surprising mechanism of action.”

A 2016 report[3] tells us that one of the active pain-relieving molecular components is L-tetrahydropalmatine (L-THP), and that “L-THP exerts remarkable antihyperalgesic effects on neuropathic and inflammatory pain in animal models.” The authors add that it did not affect motor function (just sensory function).

An even more recent 2018 study[4] revealed that Corydalis is effective even with primary or metastatic bone cancer pain. Researchers used dehydrocorydaline, “an alkaloidal component isolated from Rhizoma corydalis” in mice and found it clearly helped to attenuate bone cancer pain.