Coptis ( 黄连 ) ...Chinese Herb...

Latin Plant Name


Pinyin Mandarin Name

Huang Lian

Common English Name


Part of Plant Used






Meridians Entered

Heart, Liver, Stomach, Large Intestine

Common Usages

This herb is used in formulas to treat many excess heat-related conditions including severe sore throats, high fevers, delirium, nosebleeds, and blood in stool, phlegm, or vomit (TCM: excess heat symptoms).

Traditional Usages and Functions

Quells fire and detoxifies fire poison; clears heat and drains dampness; clears Heart fire; clears heat and stops bleeding; drains Stomach fire; clears heat topically.

Common Formulas Used In

Hoelen and Polyporus; Leonuris and Achyranthes; Tang Gui and Gardenia.

Processing Required



Coptis is one of the stronger herbs with heat-clearing action and can be used for almost any excessive heat symptom. With severe symptoms, it is always best to consult a practitioner.

Cautions in Use

Do not use this herb when there is a strong Yin deficiency or cold-deficient Stomach, or diarrhea from deficient Spleen or Kidneys. Coptis should not be used for long periods of time due to its cold and drying qualities, which may create deficient Spleen and Stomach imbalances.

Leave Coptis