Codonopsis-dang shen-C. pilosulae
An important tonic that can be used an effective substitute for Ginseng. It is often favored over Ginseng with the advantage of safe, daily use because of its mild nature. Codonopsis is typically used in combination with other herbs to strengthen vital energy and the immune system. It tonifies Spleen Qi and strengthen the Stomach, generates fluids, and strengthens Lung function. It is an adaptogenic herb due to its ability to strengthen the body's ability to adapt to change, moderate stress and balance metabolic functions of the body.
As an adaptogenic herb it is able to moderate the interactions of the Spleen and Stomach. As a Spleen Qi tonic it strengthens digestion and assimilation of foods and fluids, prevents gas and bloating, treats acid reflux, and improving poor appetites. It is effective in regulating sugar metabolism reversing or preventing insulin resistance, hypoglycemia and diabetes.
As a Lung tonic, Codonopsis relieves chronic coughs, shortness of breath and chronic excessive phlegm of the Lungs and sinuses. In cases of dryness and heat of the Lungs, Codonopsis has a moistening effect on the tissue. It also eases asthma attacks by reducing the production of hormones that cause constriction of the bronchia passages.
The Lung and Spleen are responsible for receiving both air and food Qi, which are the main sources of Qi energy for the whole body. Therefore, Codonopsis is an excellent energy tonic for all organ systems. It is even used for extreme debility, weakness and wasting disorders, especially where there is damage to the fluids of the body demonstrating heat signs(fever/thirst).
It has traditionally been used in cases of chronic illness with extreme deficiencies. It strengthens the immune system and is used in cancer therapy. It not only supports the immune functions in cancer patients, but also protects the cells in the body from the damaging effects of radiation.
Codonopsis builds blood, especially red blood cells and hemoglobin. Additionally, it detoxifies the blood providing for smooth, elastic and radiant skin. It also dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.