Coptis; Chinese Goldthread

Chinese Goldthread
COMMON NAME (Chinese Name)

Coptis; Chinese Goldthread (Huang Lian)


Coptis Chinensis


Chinese goldthread is particularly useful in helping to treat infectious diarrhea (which is caused by bacteria, protozoa, and/or fungi). Even in severe cases of E. Coli and Giardiasis, goldthread supplements have remarkable antidiarrheal effects. This can be especially helpful for those who are traveling abroad and/or who visit, swim in, and/or fish from freshwater lakes. It may also help control the symptoms of (and ultimately curing) urinary tract infections, as well as yeast infections.

The efficacy of goldthread supplements depends on the severity of the infection and the type of bacteria, protozoa, or fungi involved. For example, while goldthread may not always help treat a full-blown yeast infection, it can be very helpful in preventing yeast overgrowth and infection following antibiotic use.

Coptis is a major antimicrobial  herb and is widely used for influenza, even during the SARS epidemic.  It is used to dispel “fire toxins” characterized by high fever, irritability, disorientation, delirium, painful, red eyes, red tongue, sore throat, boils, carbuncles, and abscesses. Topically it is used for trauma, bleeding and bruising in the acute stage.


Coptis is most commonly available for purchase in formula, as a pill and capsule form, though it is also possible to find whole dried rhizomes for DIY recipes as well as pre-made tonics and teas.  Huang lian su is the most common over the counter formula, featuring all 3 of the “yellows. “but coptis is also found in the anti-flu Yin Qiao San and topical trauma liniments.  Extracts made from decocted coptis rhizomes tend to be more bioactive (stronger) and more bioavailable (easier to absorb during digestion.) Use a liniment or a plaster for topical applications. Because the herb is energetically cold, it is an herb to take only when you are acutely sick or inflamed.


Goldthread supplements are unsafe for children, especially newborns and preemies (it can cause brain damage). It is also not safe for use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. That’s because goldthread exposure in-vitro can lead to birth defects, even if exposure is limited to the first trimester.

You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking Goldthread.



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