English Name: coptis root, Chinese goldthread
Literal Translation: “yellow connection”, “yellow link”
Pharmaceutical Name: Rhizoma Coptidis
Medica Category: Heat-Clearing and Dampness-Drying Herbs
Properties: Huang Lian enters the Liver, Heart, Stomach, and Large Intestine channels; it is bitter in nature and cold in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Huang Lian is dried, unprocessed root of the coptis plant, a small, hearty herbaceous plant found native across cooler Northern temperate climes. The roots contain berberine alkaloids and have been used for thousands of years across many herbal medicinal traditions.
Huang Lian is one of the strongest herbs to clear heat, dry dampness and eliminate toxins. Its effects are most notable in the middle jiao (i.e. Liver, Stomach, and Large Intestines) although in formula it effective at removing heat toxins and dampness throughout the body.
Huang Lian is known for its anti-bacterial effects and is used in/added to many formulas for this purpose as well.
Huang Lian is very drying and cold and should be used with caution in patients with yang deficiency, yin deficiency, and Spleen/Stomach deficiencies.
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