Herb latin name: Coptis deltoidea

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Medicinal use of Coptis deltoidea:

The root is analgesic, antidote, antipyretic, antiseptic, cholagogue, sedative and vasodilator. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, acute enteritis, dysentery, insomnia, fidgets, delirium due to high fever, inflammation of the mouth and tongue, leukaemia, conjunctivitis and otitis media. The root contains berberine which is a broad-spectrum antibacterial, increases the phagocytosis of white blood cells on Staphylococcus aureus, is antihypertensive by dilating the coronary artery and blood vessels of the internal viscera, relaxes the smooth muscles of the blood vessels and excites the smooth muscles of the uterus, bronchi, stomach, intestines and urinary bladder.

Description of the plant:


20 cm
(7 3/4 inch)

to April

Habitat of the herb:

Damp coniferous woods and bogs. Forests at elevations of 1600 - 2000 metres in W Sichuan.

Other uses of Coptis deltoidea:

Can be grown as a ground cover plant in the peat garden.

Propagation of the herb:

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 10C. 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.

Cultivation of Coptis deltoidea:

Damp coniferous woods and bogs. Forests at elevations of 1600 - 2000 metres in W Sichuan.

Known hazards of Coptis deltoidea:

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.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.