About the herb: Codonopsis is a perennial herb that is native to China and is a common ingredient in many steamed dishes. The dry root of the herb is used in traditional Chinese medicine as an alternative to ginseng, which is why it is commonly known as the ‘poor man’s ginseng’. It is seen to work by stimulating the central nervous system.
Alternative names: Dong Seng, Bellflower, Chuan Dang
- Stress reduction and management. It contains adaptogen, a substance that has been used to help the body better cope with mental and physical stress.
- Anti-inflammatory. Due to its saporin content, it has been seen to possibly reduce inflammation, which may help cancer patients.
- Improves mental function. When used in conjunction with gingko biloba, it can enhance learning and memory.
- Helps manage diabetes. It is seen to be able to significantly lower blood glucose, which helps diabetes sufferers to better manage the disease with fewer side effects and improved patient tolerance compared with conventional medications.
- Preventing fatty liver. Taking Codonopis could help those who take a lot of alcoholic drinks from developing fatty liver. But sufferers should still moderate alcohol intake in order to enjoy the maximum benefit.
Primary benefits: Codonopsis has a wide variety of therapeutic uses, ranging from protecting cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy from unwanted side effects and treating patients with HIV as well as other ailments such as chronic diarrhea, weakness, asthma, diabetes and cough. In addition, it may promote weight gain and help increase endurance, which could make it helpful for weight lifters and those who are training for marathons. And it may also help promote improved blood circulation as well as increased red and white blood cell count.
Conclusion: With the many health benefits you can enjoy from Codonopsis, there is no reason why you should not try it if you suffer from any of the above maladies. Since the toxicity of Codonopsis is low, the risk of negative side effects is minimal. The herb is available in tablet form, as a tincture as well as in tea form. However, you should refrain from using tonics labeled ginseng in which it is listed as one of the ingredients, since you may not be getting enough of it to be beneficial. And before you use the herb, you should consult with a medical professional, particularly if you are taking any medications since there might be adverse reactions.