Corydalis is an herb that grows relatively low to the ground and has finely divided thin leaves and pinkish flowers. This plant is indigenous to northern parts of China, Japan and Siberia. Corydalis is closely related to the opium-poppy and thrives even in the severe climatic conditions prevalent in the northeast Asia. The plant stays alive in such conditions by reserving majority of the energy produced by it inside its solid and vividly yellow hued tuber. The root or rhizome of the herb is dried out and subsequently sliced into cutaways and is made use of in herbal medications.
Corydalis is a perennial plant that usually grows in shade along the edges of woodlands. The flowers of the herb are hermaphrodite in nature, possessing male as well as female organs.
Corydalis possesses soothing, narcotic and tranquilizing properties and is commonly used to alleviate abdominal pains.
Corydalis forms an integral part of the traditional Chinese medicine and has been extensively used for centuries to lend a hand in stimulating the circulatory system as well as alleviate nearly all excruciating conditions. This herb is especially prescribed by herbal medicine practitioners to mitigate menstrual cramps, chest and abdominal soreness. In fact, the pain relieving characteristic of the herb is attributed to the extremely potent alkaloids enclosed by it. The root of the corydalis herb possesses palliative or pain relieving, tranquillizing, anti-septic and anti-spasmodic properties. Corydalis is believed to be warm by nature and possess an overpowering and astringent flavor. The herb is related to the treatment of the heart, liver and spleen. Many Chinese herbal medicine practitioners also use the herb to lower blood pressure. You may prepare a tea, a tincture or a decoction with corydalis. Presently, extracts of corydalis roots are also available in the market.
The root of the herb has been conventionally recommended to relieve pains as well as reinforce the circulation system for hundreds of years. In effect, the root of the herb is effectively used to treat a number of physical conditions, such as dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), hernia, chest pains, lumbago (chronic or recurrent soreness in the lumbar region, the back or loins) as well as harrowing injuries. Usually, the root of the plant is unearthed and cut during the latter part of spring or early phase of summer after the aerial parts of the herb has withered away. After harvesting, the root is dried and stored for use afterwards. Different extracts from corydalis have demonstrated to possess cardio tonic, antitussive (a substance used to suppress cough) anti-cancer and hypotensive (substance that causes low blood pressure) properties.
As discussed above, corydalis has an assortment of medical benefits. Some of the benefits of the herb with reference to definite health conditions are mentioned below.
Habitat and cultivation
Corydalis thrives best on the edges of forests or woodland gardens where there is a blend of sunlight and shade as well as the edge of shade. This herb also grows well in marshy beds. This plant is low-growing and has a preference for humid and properly drained light soil. It is apparent that corydalis is unaffected by the rapacity of rabbits.
Corydalis is propagated by seeds and it is best to sow the seeds immediately when the seeds are matured. The utility of corydalis seeds is lost quickly when it is let to dehydrate. The seeds of this herb need to be sowed on the surface of the soil and the soil should be kept humid. Generally, the seeds take anything between one and three months to germinate provided the temperature is around 15° C. If you allow two warm months and then provide a cold layering, it will enhance the potential of the seeds that have been stored for latter use.
It is important that the corydalis seeds are sowed near the surface of the soil in order to let the seedling develop without any obstruction in a container during the first year of their growth. In order to make certain that the seedlings receive proper nourishment, use liquid fertilizers throughout the growing season. During their first year of their existence, corydalis seedlings produce a solitary leaf and during this period the plants are vulnerable to damping off (a disease of seedlings, arising either before or instantly after emerging from the soil, typified by decaying of the stem at soil level and eventual collapse of the plant, caused by any soil fungi). Segregate the seedlings into separate pots when they are inactive and grow them individually in a semi-shaded area of a greenhouse for a minimum of another year.
Put the young plants in their permanent places outdoors while they are dormant during the beginning of the third year of their growth. The division of the plants need to be undertaken once their flowering season is over.
Side effects and cautions
Corydalis should be mixed with California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) in order to obtain the optimum results while treating nervousness, sleeplessness and restless leg syndrome. A herbal product branded ‘Corydalis Formula' from Spanda is said to be most effective in treating these conditions. For treating cataracts, the herb should always be used under the guidance of a competent medical professional.
It is important to note that pregnant women should not use this herb or it extracts. Regular use of this herb leads to acceptance and may even result in the cross-tolerance to morphine. Any person using any sort of medications for insomnia ought to be cautious of the combined consequences of the sleeping pills and this herb. As the herb encloses a compound that depresses the central nervous system, it should be used carefully when you are consuming alcohol. Though there has been no instance of toxicity owing to the use of corydalis, overdose is likely to produce shaking and tremors.