Dicentra canadensis Walp Family Papaveraceae

Habitat ► The Himalayas from Kumaon to Khasia Hills. Cultivated in Indian gardens.

English ► Squirrel Corn. (A related species, Corydalis cucullaria, known as Turkey Pea, occurs in Canada and the USA.)

Action ► Diuretic, alterative, anti-scrofula. Used for torpid and sluggish conditions, menstrual disorders and diseases due to vitiated blood. Also employed as a sedative for the relief of paralysis agitans and other muscular tremors.

A large number of physiologically active isoquinoline alkaloids have been isolated from the tubers of many species of Dicentra, but the use of Corydalis is not linked with the alkaloids they contain, only bulbocapnine, present in the tubers, exhibits therapeutic activity. It produces catalepsy in mammals and possesses sympathetic as well as parasympathetic central effects.

212 Dichroa febrifuga Lour.

It has been employed for the relief of paralysis agitans and other muscular tremors, vesticular nystagmus and similar conditions.

The root contains protopine, cory-deline, bulbocapnine, cancentrine, de-hydrocancentrines A and B. Bicucul-line (an isoquinoline alkaloid) isolated from the tuber of Dicentra cucullaria, is a centrally-acting, spasmogenic antagonist of GABA.

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