Corydalis tea has long been known in the annals of Chinese traditional medicine as being potent against pains. Corydalis is also known for “reinvigorating the blood”.
Corydalis refers to a genus of perennial and annual plants that are native to the northern parts of China, Japan, Eastern Russia and even in the high mountains of eastern Africa. These plants are known to thrive in severely cold conditions and can usually be found in shades along the peripheral areas of woodlands, as well as in marshy areas. Corydalis possesses pink flowers and finely-divided thin leaves. It has yellow tubers. It is closely related to the opium poppy family.
The specie most used in Chinese traditional medicine is the corydalis yanhusuo. Its medicinal properties largely lie in the roots or rhizomes. After being dug out, these roots are typically dried out, and then sliced into cutaways. Corydalis is used either as a decoction, tincture or extract for its analgesic, antispasmodic, antiseptic, sedative, tranquilizing, anti-cancer, hypotensive and cardiotonic qualities.
The health benefits of Corydalis tea are largely derived from active constituents of the roots and tubers which include more than 20 potent alkaloids that include tetrahydropalmatine, dehydrocorydaline, protopine and cordalines. These alkaloids are said to impart the pain-relieving properties of this brew. Research has shown that these alkaloids have an analgesic effect that’s one-tenth of that given by opium and one-hundredth of that given by morphine. It is also known to possess some barbiturates. Though its effects are somewhat similar to that given by the opium poppy, corydalis tea is said to be non-addictive.
Corydalis tea can be made by placing a handful of the dried roots in a pot of boiling water and allowing it to remain for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then let it simmer for a further 5 minutes before drinking. Alternatively, an infusion can be made using the powdered form of the roots. Simply immerse the powdered corydalis roots in newly-boiled water for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Corydalis herb is typically mixed with other herbs by Chinese herbal practitioners for use in a variety of ways. It is usually combined with peony and licorice to fight spastic pain, and mixed with pteropus and bulrush for treating abdominal and menstrual pain.
Pregnant and nursing women should avoid the use of corydalis tea and other forms of this plant. Extreme caution in using corydalis should likewise be observed by individuals taking sleeping pills, depressants and alcohol as the effects of a combination of these things have not yet been fully established.
The following are some health benefits attributed to this brew:
- May help ease chest and abdominal pains.
- May help relieve menstrual cramps and dysmenorrhea.
- May help fight lumbago or pain in the lumbar region.
- May help fight migraine headaches.
- May have heart-protective properties, with some studies done on its possible protective effects against myocardial ischemia and strokes.
- May help lower blood pressure and ease the heart rate. It may also have a beneficial effect on blood circulation.
- May help fight allergies.
- May be helpful in fighting nervousness and insomnia.
- May have relaxing capabilities that may help in easing stress.
- May help fight stomach ulcers as it may help decrease gastric secretions.
- May be helpful in fighting cough.