Grown in China's Zhejiang, Hubei, Hunan and Jiangsu provinces, the corydalis root is considered among the most effective painkillers in traditional Chinese medicine. Herbalists use it alone or in combination to treat almost any kind of pain. It does not seem to cause addiction or to have toxic side effects. The best roots are large, hard and bright yellow on the inside. According to the tenets of traditional Chinese medicine, corydalis is an acrid, bitter and warm herb.
Corydalis is available in Chinese pharmacies, Asian markets and some Western health food stores. Toasted fried in vinegar for menstrual pain and pain caused by trauma. The powdered form of the root is an extremely strong painkiller.
Combinations: Mixed with cnidium root (Ligusticum chuanxiong), it is prescribed for body aches and headaches. In combination with fennel, it is used for abdominal pain and hernial disorders. Herbalists prescribe a preparation containing corydalis and cinnamon bark for painful menstruation. Consult a Chinese medicine practitioner for information on appropriate dosages and additional combinations.