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"Goldthread" redirects here. For a fine wire of gold, see gold thread.
Coptis occidentalis.jpg
Coptis occidentalis flowers
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Coptis

See text

Coptis (Goldthread or Canker Root) is a genus of between 10–15 species of flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae, native to Asia and North America.


Selected species
Coptis occidentalis fruit


Coptis teeta is used as a medicinal herb in China and the Himalayan regions of India where it is used as a bitter tonic for dyspepsia.[1] It is also believed to help insomnia in Chinese herbology.[citation needed] The roots contain the bitter alkaloid berberine. The dried roots (goldthread) were commercially marketed in Canada until the 1950s or early 60s, to be steeped into a "tea" and swabbed onto areas affected by thrush (candidiasis) infection.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Huang, J.; Long, C. (2007). "Coptis teeta-based agroforestry system and its conservation potential: A case study from northwest Yunnan". AMBIO 36 (4): 343–49. doi:10.1579/0044-7447(2007)36[343:CTASAI]2.0.CO;2. 

External links[edit]

Coptis aspleniifolia leaves