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  • Blocks voltage-activated L-type calcium channels
  • Promotes a healthy circulatory system
  • Works as an anti-stress and calming supplement


L-Tetrahydropalmatine (Levo-THP, L-THP) is a compound found naturally in a number of plants and herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, especially Corydalis yanhusuo. In their natural form, the plants contain roughly equal quantities of L-THP and D-THP. L-THP has been determined to be the more effective enantiomer.


When taken as a dietary supplement, L-THP has the ability to serve as a potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving supplement. It may also help to support a healthy mood, a healthy circulatory system, and may have sedative-like effects. L-THP is considered safe at the recommended serving size of 30-60 mg, taken once or twice daily.

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  • L-Tetrahydropalmatine (L-THP) is a found in a number of plant species, including Corydalis yanhusuo (Yan Hu Suo) – a traditional Chinese herbal medicine 

  • L-Tetrahydropalmatine (L-THP) is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is also used as a calming compound and is sometimes taken to relieve pain 

  • The recommended dosage range is a single serving of 30-60 mg, taken once or twice daily


L-Tetrahydropalmatine Reviews

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Corydalis yanhusuo (Yan Hu Suo) is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine that has been used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine for hundreds of years. Corydalis yanhusuo naturally produces a plant compound known as Tetrahydropalmatine (THP). THP has been shown to have very strong anti-inflammatory effects and to help support a healthy circulatory system. [1] The compound is also found in other plants like Stephania rotunda (Qian Jin Teng). Animal studies have indicated that the natural plant extract has powerful protective effects on the heart and liver. [2] [3]


In response to the well-known beneficial effects of Corydalis yanhusuo, researchers determined that the levo-isomer of the Tetrahydropalmatine compound was more beneficial for health. While this compound can be naturally purified, it is typically easier and more cost-effective to manufacture through chemical synthesis.


The purified or synthetic levo-THP (L-THP) has been in clinical use in China for over half a century, under the brand names Hyndarin, Caseanine, Hindarine, and Rotundine. In Asia, L-THP is used as a pain-relief and anti-inflammatory substance, with additional health benefits for the heart and liver. [4] In the rest of the world, L-THP can be purchased as a dietary supplement to help support a healthy body.


L-THP Effects/Benefits



L-THP has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. For people with a science background, L-THP is known to block inflammatory markers like TNF-alpha and ICAM. [5] This means that L-THP can help to maintain a healthy circulatory system and may help protect your health.


Used for Pain-Relief:

In many countries, L-THP is a known analgesic (pain-reliever). In China, L-THP is used specifically for pain-relief. There is a theory that L-THP’s interaction with endorphins (your body’s natural ‘feel-good’ hormones) has a strong role to play in its pain-relief action.[6] One of the key benefits of L-THP is that, unlike many other substances that are used for pain-relief, L-THP has an inhibitory effect on dopamine signaling. These means that it has far less potential for abuse and it doesn’t produce euphoria. [7]


Supports a Healthy Circulatory System:

L-THP is a known calcium-channel blocker. [8] What this means, in practical terms, is that L-THP helps to prevent calcium entering cells, which results in relaxed and widened blood vessels, helping to support a healthier circulatory system.[9] These effects are best noticed when L-THP is used in addition to an increasingly healthy diet and lifestyle.


Supports a Healthy Mood and Mental State:

Researchers are studying L-THP’s potential benefits for supporting a healthy mental state. This is a result of L-THP’s inhibitory effect on the dopamine receptors D1 and D2. Many compounds that are used to treat psychosis act as dopamine blockers. There is a strong theory that a number of psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia, are linked to an overactive dopamine system. [10] As a result, clinical trials are currently in progress to examine L-THP’s potential benefits for the mind. [11]


May Be Used in Research into Addiction:

Many addictive substances produce a strong euphoria through their ability to boost dopamine production or to enhance the activity of dopamine receptors. L-THP is known to block dopamine receptors D1 and D2. This has led a number of researchers to consider using L-THP as a compound to research the biochemical pathways leading to addiction, in that it blocks one of the best-known mechanisms. [12]


Helps to Maintain a Healthy Body:

L-THP also holds value in research regarding the human body and its systems. In animal studies, Corydalis yanhusuo extracts containing L-THP have been shown to have strong beneficial effects on the heart. [13]


 L-THP Recommended Usage


The serving size used in most human studies is a single dosage of around 30mg L-THP, up to twice per day. [14] It is not recommended to take a single serving exceeding 60 mg as this may cause some unwanted side-effects.


L-THP side effects and warnings 


According to a recent review about the use of L-THP, higher doses may cause several unwanted adverse effects. These may include sleepiness, dizziness, and nausea. Allergic reactions are very rare. 12


Furthermore, overdose is possible. Taking too much L-THP may result in mild to severe negative effects on respiration, cardiac activity, and the nervous system. [15] In the mid-1990s, several adverse effects and a few fatalities occurred as a result of taking herbal formula pills called Jin Bu Huan Anodyne Tablets. These contained L-THP, which gave it a bad name. However, the pills contained excessive amounts of L-THP, and more importantly were found to be adulterated with other toxic constituents which caused the adverse effects, and thus have since been banned in the US. [16] [17]


Do not use L-THP in an herbal formula, especially if it is not from a reputable source. Do not use L-THP supplements if you are taking any medication. If you have any medical conditions, speak to your doctor before using L-THP. Do not use L-THP if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


[1] Oh, Y.C., et al., Tetrahydropalmatine inhibits pro-inflammatory mediators in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated THP-1 cells. J Med Food. 2010 Oct;13(5):1125-32. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.1388.

[2] Wu, L., Ling, H., Li, L., Jiang, L., He, M., Beneficial effects of the extract from Corydalis yanhusuo in rats with heart failure following myocardial infarction. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2007 May;59(5):695-701.

[3] Min, Q., Bai, Y.T., Shu, S.J., Ren, P., [Protective effect of dl-tetrahydropalmatine on liver injury induced by carbon tetrachloride in mice]. (Article in Chinese). Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2006 Mar;31(6):483-4, 521.

[4] Tetrahydropalmatine, ChemicalBook.com, CAS DataBase, available online at http://www.chemicalbook.com/ChemicalProductProperty_EN_CB1157651.htm [Accessed November 3, 2017]

[5] Tetrahydropalmatine, PubChem, Compound Summary for CID 72301, Open Chemistry Database, US National Library of Medicine, available online at https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/tetrahydropalmatine/ [Accessed November 3, 2017]

[6] Hu, J.Y., Jin G.Z., Arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus involved in analgesic action of l-THP. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2000 May;21(5):439-44.

[7] Ingram, S.L., Pain: Novel Analgesics from Traditional Chinese Medicines. Current Biology. 2013 Vol 24 No 3, R114-R116

[8] Huang, K., et al., Blocking L-calcium current by l-tetrahydropalmatine in single ventricular myocyte of guinea pigs. Zhongguo yao li xue bao = Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 01 Oct 1999, 20(10):907-911

[9] Calcium channel blockers, MayoClinic.org, available online at

 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/calcium-channel-blockers/art-20047605 [Accessed November 3, 2017]

[10] Brisch, R., et al., The Role of Dopamine in Schizophrenia from a Neurobiological and Evolutionary Perspective: Old Fashioned, but Still in Vogue. Front Psychiatry. 2014; 5: 47. doi:  10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00047

[11] Kelly, D., et al., Treatment of Schizophrenia With L-tetrahydropalmatine (l-THP): a Novel Dopamine Antagonist With Anti-inflammatory and Antiprotozoal Activity. ClinicalTrials.gov. Clinical Trials Indicator NCT02118610. University of Maryland, Stanley Medical Research Institute, 2014-2017.

[12] Wang, J.B., & Mantsch, J.R., L-Tetrahydropalamatine: A Potential New Medication for the Treatment of Cocaine Addiction. Future Med Chem. 2012 Feb; 4(2): 10.4155/fmc.11.166.

[13] Wu, L., Ling, H., Li, L., Jiang, L., He, M., Beneficial effects of the extract from Corydalis yanhusuo in rats with heart failure following myocardial infarction. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2007 May;59(5):695-701.

[14] Mingming, Y., et al., Simultaneous Determination of L-tetrahydropalmatine and Cocaine in Human Plasma by Simple UPLC-FLD Method: Application in Clinical Studies. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2014 Aug 15; 965: 39–44.

[15] Lai, C.K. & Chan, A.Y., Tetrahydropalmatine poisoning: diagnoses of nine adult overdoses based on toxicology screens by HPLC with diode-array detection and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Clin Chem. 1999 Feb;45(2):229-36.

[16] Horowitz, R.S., et al., The clinical spectrum of Jin Bu Huan toxicity. Arch Intern Med. 1996 Apr 22;156(8):899-903.

[17] Woolf, G. M., et al., Acute hepatitis associated with the Chinese herbal product jin bu hu., (1994) Ann Intern Med, 121(10), 729-735, FDA Poisonous Plant Database.