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Codonopsis Root

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 10, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Codonopsis Root


The herb known as Codnopsis is a perennial plant that originated in Asia. The plant itself is very ornamental with purple flowers and deep green leaves. Its vining habit allows the plant to readily twist and twine itself around any available object as it grows. It is the plant’s deep taproot that is highly prized as an ingredient that can be used in a number of different herbal formulas. Codonopsis Root has a garnered a reputation throughout the years as a necessary building block for optimal health and energy

History of the Codonopsis Root

Although the plant is now cultivated in many countries it is still revered as a healing compound by the Chinese and Japanese communities. The original use for Codonopsis root was initially documented in the Chinese herbal encyclopedia Ben Jing Feng Yuan hundreds of years ago. The taproot was harvested, prepared and prescribed for the treatment of respiratory problems as early as 1695 CE.

Ancient Uses of the Codonopsis Root

During ancient times the cooling herbal properties of the Codonopsis Root were primarily designated to cleanse the lungs. If a person suffered from a condition which was thought to result from a lack of energy in their digestive system, Codonopsis Root would be prescribed as a treatment. This type of deficiency is still known today simply as ‘spleen qi’. Individuals who suffered from vomiting, nausea or loss of appetite were frequently given doses of the Codonopsis Root as a primary treatment.

The plant’s sweet root was even favored as the treatment of choice when an individual needed a boost in energy. The use of Codonopsis Root was thought to be one of the best options available for anyone who complained of fatigue but it was also widely used to treat a variety of other health complaints ranging from mild coughs and Colds to much more serious physical conditions that included arthritis and digestive diseases.

Modern Uses of the Codonopsis Root

Today it is possible to find a number of different tablets, tinctures and even teas that are prepared from the root of the Codonopsis plant. This herbal ingredient is still being used as a treatment for peptic ulcers, GI complaints, asthma and other respiratory ailments.

The root of the Codonopsis plant has been found to play a valuable role in the maintenance of person’s healthy red blood cells. Use of this herbal compound has also been proven to promote a stronger and more effective immune system overall.
Many people identify this herbal compound as a poor man’s version of the more expensive Ginseng. In fact the effects of both herbs on an individual’s respiratory, digestive, immune and metabolic systems are remarkably similar.

The practical use for Codonopsis Root has expanded throughout the years and it is now being prescribed for cancer and lupus patients.

Side Effects of the Codonopsis Root

There are no worrisome side effects that have been attributed to the use of the Codonopsis Root. It is frequently recommended as a treatment option for numerous conditions and is considered to be a safe dietary supplement.

Read also: Selenium

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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