Family Papaveraceae

Habitat ► The West Himalayas, from Kashmir to Kumaon.

Ayurvedic ► Bhootakeshi (a doubtful substitute for Bhootajataa, Nardostachys jatamansi DC.) Species of Selinum are also used as Bhootakeshi.

Action ► Sedative, spasmolytic, hypotensive, nervine, antiseptic. Used in cutaneous and scrofulous affections, chronic fever and liver complaints.

The roots contain phthalide iso-quinoline alkaloids. In addition, stems and leaves contain tetrahydroproto-berberines.

A related species, C. solida, indigenous to Siberia, northern China and Japan, contains alkaloids including corydalmine, tetrahydropalmatine, protoberberine-type alkaloid lenticin. The alkaloids are analgesic and sedative and have been shown to work, at least in part, by blocking the dopamine receptors in the central nervous system.

Coscinium fenestratum Colebr. 175

The powdered rhizome of Corydalis possesses one-hundredth of the analgesic potency of morphine.

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