Codonopsis Root

Codonopsis Root (Dang Shen)

Codonopsis Root (Dang Shen)

Botanical Name: Radix Codonopsis pilosulae

Often used as a gentler alternative to the stronger Ginseng, Codonopsis has a long history as being an excellent lung, blood, muscle and overall body tonic. Used in China by nursing mothers to increase healthy milk production and for staying strong and healthy.

Below is an overview of codonopsis, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of codonopsis.

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Western Name: Codonopsis Root

Also Known As: Poor Man’s Ginseng, Codnopsis Root

Organs/Systems: Immune, Stomach, Lung, Blood

Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Antioxidant, Anticancer, Antidiabetes, Adaptogenic.


Pin Yin: Dang Shen

Also Known As: N/A

Meridians: Lung, Spleen, Heart, Pericardium

Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Tonifies Qi/Activates Blood/Removes Blood Statis: irregular menses, painful cramps, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, and post partum pain due to blood stasis. It is also used for chest and heart pain. Cools Blood/Removes Abscesses: injuries, swelling, congestion, arthritis. Calms Shen: clears heart fire, cools blood, palpations, insomnia, fever, restlessness.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Codonposis is a member of the Campanulaceae family. There are about 40 different species worldwide, 21 are used medicinally. A perennial plant in the bellflower family with twining stems up to 2 meters long, with bilateral branches, alternately arranged leaves and small branchlets. Solitary bell-shaped flowers occur at the branch tips that are yellow-green with purple spots inside. Roots are carrot shaped or cylindrical. Native to Asia, where it grows in forests, meadows and scrub areas. Most especially grown in Sichuan, Anhui and Jiangsu provences.

Codonopsis Root (Dang Shen) Parts Most Frequently Used: Root, Rhizomes

Flavors/Temps: Bitter, Slightly Cold, Slightly Sweet

Caution: Do not use with herb Li Lu (Black False Hellebore). Very low toxicity.

History/Folklore: The best quality is said to be thick and purplish red.  It is a key herb for gynecological conditions of all sorts. In China it is considered similar to ginseng but less strong and less expensive. Like ginseng it is considered a major tonic herb. It is often used to restore vigor and stamina. It is said this herb can warm the Spleen without being too drying. It will also tonify Stomach Yin without causing pathogenic dampness. Codonopsis stimulates blood production and detoxes blood. Codonopsis mixed with licorice is considered a major tonic for those tending toward anorexia. Ginseng is from the Araliaceae family, codonopsis is from the Campanulaceae family.  It is considered and excellent anti-aging herb.  Helps promote Qi and the production of body fluids.

Key Constituents:

Hesperidin, Atractylenollide III, Lobetyolin, Stigmasterol, Sterols, Saponin, Inulin, Starch, Alkaloids. Codonopsine, Amino acids, Trace Elements.

Did you know?

Increase Milk Production

Nursing mothers use codonopsis to increase milk production and build strong blood.


Radiant Skin

Because of its blood building and cleansing abilities codonopsis is said to help skin become elastic, smooth and radiant.

Fun fact!

Change of Season Soup

In China, codonopsis is one of the four ingredients of the famous and popular “Change of Season Soup.”


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ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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