Codonopsis is referred to as dang shen in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) where it has been employed for its healthful qualities for centuries. Often used in herbal formulas in place of ginseng, codonopsis root is considered a gentle qi (energy) tonic and adaptogenic herb in TCM. Native to Asia, Codonopsis pilosula has twining stems with bell-shaped flowers and carrot-shaped roots. Codonopsis root is typically prepared as a decoction or extract.
Codonopsis is an adaptogenic herb which means that it has been shown to help the body adapt to and defend against the effects of environmental stress. Historically, Codonopsis has been utilized as a gentle way to promote digestion, strengthen immunity, and to relieve symptoms of stress, illness, and fatigue.
Codonopsis root is effective in boosting the health of your immune system; promoting better mental sharpness and memory, and generally as an adaptogen. This means that it can help your body in its reaction to stress. Some people say that this root is a poor man’s ginseng.
Some of the other benefits of this wonderful herb include:
Supporting good function of lungs and spleen: This herb works to energize the entire body, and much of this work centers on the lungs and spleen. It also is believed to be useful in asthma patients, as the root seems to cut down on the production of hormones that can cause the bronchia to constrict.
Boost blood quality: Some studies suggest that codonopsis root can help to boost the amount of hemoglobin in the blood and increase the number of red blood corpuscles in the blood.
Improve stress response: This herb has been used for years to help with hypertension and to boost your endurance for stress. It seems to help the body deal with the various symptoms of stress, such as muscle tension, fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure and adrenaline. It seems to work in a similar fashion to ginseng but is believed to be a good deal milder.
Helps with digestion: This root is thought to help the body with loss of appetite, and also can be helpful in relieving diarrhea and vomiting. It seems to be useful in boosting the function of the spleen and to boost your energy. It also seems to cut down on pepsin secretion in the stomach, and will slow down how fast the stomach will pass food into your intestines. It then can be helpful in stopping the forming of peptic ulcers.