The genus Corydalis (Papaveraceae, subfamily Fumarioideae) is represented by over 470 species in the world and 17 species in the flora of Turkey, which are grown at an altitude of 900 to 3300 m and at different geographic places like rocky slopes, scrubs, fir and beech woods. They are perennial, tuberous plants and are widespread in Europe and Asia. These species have a broad spectrum of biological activity, owing to the presence of several active secondary metabolites, mainly alkaloids, which work through various modes of action. When the studies on the Corydalis genus were examined, it was found that in the Far East countries, various folk remedies were prepared from these species for analgesic, febrifuge, depurative and antidote purposes. In subsequent studies, the compounds responsible for the different pharmacological effects known as isoquinoline-derived alkaloids were determined. This review comprises the updated information about the ethnomedical uses and health benefits of various Corydalis species and general information about their botanical properties, chemical compounds and biological activities.
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