Codonopsis health benefits include strengthening the digestive, respiratory and immune systems, and much more. It is often taken internally in various herbal combinations to treat asthma, anemia, cancer, headaches, diarrhea, high blood pressure, hemorrhoids, prolapsed uterus, nausea, vomiting, neck tension, and to increase breast milk in nursing mothers.
Codonopsis was first described in the herbal tome Ben Jing Feng Yaun in 1695 C.E. as a lung cleanser (qing fe). As a cooling herb, codonopsis is useful in any illness in which “spleen qi deficiency” a deficiency of digestive energies, is the underlying cause. It is also known to strengthen the digestive, respiratory, and immune systems. It has been called the “poor man’s ginseng” as it has often been used as a ginseng substitute in herbal formulas when ginseng was too expensive or not available. -Mountain Rose Herbs
Codonopsis Health Benefits in Our Clinic
Many of the herbal formulas used here at Natchez Trace Veterinary Services contain Codonopsis as one of the main ingredients, so we thought you may be interested in the history, use and effects of this amazing herb.
One of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Codonopsis blends used in our clinic is Codonopsis Harmonize Qi. This herbal blend contains Codonopsis Root (dang shen) combined with Astragalus (huang qi) to support a healthy immune system by tonifying your pet’s level of Qi.
From a Traditional Chinese Medical perspective, the immune system, called Wei Qi (“way chee”) is considered to be the body’s main defense. According to TCM theory, the functioning of the stomach and spleen are the root of all Qi in the the body. This is because the stomach breaks down the food which as been eaten and the spleen absorbs and distributes the nutrients throughout the body to develop Qi. Codonopsis Harmonize Qi supports the ability of the spleen and stomach to properly utilize nutrients, tonify blood, and develop Qi. When the body’s level of Wei Qi is at optimum levels, the immune system can ward of opportunistic bacteria and viruses and keep the body healthy.
Codonopsis Health Benefits in Traditional Chinese Medicine
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Codonopsis is considered one of the herbs that tonifies Qi. The root is the portion of the plant that is used. The Chinese name for Codonopsis is Dang Shen. This herb influences the Lung and Spleen Meridians, and it’s temperature is considered neutral (ping) and sweet (gan).
In TCM Codonopsis is often used to tonify the “middle warmer” to augment the qi for symptoms including lack of appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, vomiting, prolapse (uterus, stomach, rectum), and any spleen qi deficiency.
It is also used to tonify the lungs in cases of shortness of breath, chronic cough, and spleen qi deficiency due to large amounts of sputum.
Codonopsis Health Benefits in Western Herbal Medicine
In Western herbal medicine Codonopsis root is used in teas, tablets and tinctures. It is most often used to strengthen the digestive, respiratory and immune systems. This herb has often been called “poor man’s ginseng” and used in herbal formulas as a substitute for ginseng when that particular herb was unavailable or too expensive.
Like ginseng, codonopsis is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances that non-specifically enhance and regulate the body’s ability to withstand stress. They increase the body’s general performance in ways that help the whole body resist disease. Codonopsis is thought to benefit the entire body by boosting strength, increasing stamina and alertness, rejuvenating the body, strengthening the immune system, aiding recovery from chronic illness, reducing stress, and stimulating the appetite. It belongs to a class of herbs called stomachics, which means that they tonify the stomach to improve digestive functions. –AltMd: Smart Alternatives
Codonopsis Warnings, Side Effects, and Signs of Overdosage
No unwanted side effects have been reported with the use of Codonopsis. Codonopsis has been used for years in China by children to help them grow strong and breast-feeding women often use it as a tonic to increase milk production. There have been no unwanted side effects reported. Although there are very few studies on how codonopsis interacts with traditional Western pharmaceuticals, it has been used for many years in combination with other Chinese herbs without side effects.