Of ancient Chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese headache remedy treats wide range of pain in study

A chemical compound used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years has shown potential for modern Western applications, a new study finds.

In a paper published in the journal Current Biology, researchers determined the chemical—called dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB) and found in the underground tubers of the Corydalis plant, a member of the poppy family that grows mainly in central-eastern China—to be effective in treating three forms of pain in mice, according to the Los Angeles Times. Used to treat headaches and back pain in traditional Chinese culture, DHCB effectively treated acute pain, which one might feel from a broken bone or burn; inflammatory pain caused by swelling; and chronic pain caused by nerve damage.

Additionally, mice did not develop a tolerance to DHCB, further suggesting its potential use in treating long-term pain in humans.