Herbs & Plants

Huang Lian (Coptis chinensis)

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Botanical Name : Coptis chinensis
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Coptis
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Species: C. chinensis
syn. : Coptis teeta Wallich var. chinensis Finet & Gagnepain
Common Name : Huang Lian
Other Name :Chinese goldthread

Habitat : Native to China.Damp coniferous woods and bogs. Forests, shaded places in valleys at elevations of 500 – 2000 metres.  Slow-growing and sensitive plant provides a rich yellow rhizome and thread-like rootlets.


Perennial forest dweller. Does well in pots. An evergreen Perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 10in) by 0.2 m (0ft 6in).
It is hardy to zone 6. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Feb to March, and the seeds ripen from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist or wet soil.

Cultivation :

Succeeds in a light moist humus-rich slightly acidic soil with a northerly aspect or light shade. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c.Sow seeds in fall or very early spring with germination in the spring as the ground warms up. Keep well-watered, protected and shaded until seedlings are established. Plant prefers rich, acid loam with moisture and shade.

Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in an ericaceous compost. Seal the pot in a polythene bag until germination takes place, which is usually within 1 – 6 months at 10°c. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible. Four weeks cold stratification may be beneficial. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in mid-autumn or in spring. Division in spring.

Chemical Constituents:Among other active compounds that Coptis chinensis contains is berberine and coptisine.

Medicinal uses.

Anaesthetic;  Analgesic;  Antibacterial;  Antidote;  Antipyretic;  Antispasmodic;  Bitter;  Blood tonic;  Carminative;  Cholagogue;  Digestive;
Sedative;  Skin;  Stomachic;  Tonic;  Vasodilator.

Huang Lian is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. The root is a pungent, very bitter, cooling herb that controls bacterial and viral infections, relaxes spasms, lowers fevers and stimulates the circulation. It is one of the most frequently used herbs in prescriptions for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. The root is analgesic, locally anaesthetic, antibacterial, antidote, antipyretic, bitter, blood tonic, carminative, cholagogue, digestive, sedative, stomachic, tonic and vasodilator. It is particularly helpful in the treatment of diarrhoea, acute enteritis and dysentery, whilst it is also used in the treatment of insomnia, fidget, delirium due to high fever, leukaemia and otitis media. Externally it is used to treat various skin problems such as acne, boils, abscesses and burns whilst it is also used as a gargle for mouth and tongue ulcers, swollen gums and toothache. As an eyewash it is used to treat conjunctivitis. The root is harvested in the autumn and used fresh or dried

It acts on Hearts, Large Intestine, Liver, Stomach

It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is called duan è huánglián . One study found Coptis chinensis to be effective against the gastrointestinal parasite Blastocystis hominis.

You may click to see : Pharmacological & Clinical Research on Coptis chinensis & Coptis rhizome  :

Other Uses
Dye;  Ground cover.

A bright yellow pigment found in the roots can be used for dyeing. Can be grown as a ground cover plant in the peat garden.

Known Hazards:
Although no specific mention of toxicity has been found for this species, it belongs to a family that contains many species that are mildly toxic and so it is wise to treat this plant with some caution.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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