Cart 0
Codonopsis Root, organic 1oz

Codonopsis Root, organic 1oz


Codonopsis Root (Codonopsis pilosula)/Dang shen

Codonopsis refers to the roots of Codonopsis pilosula, utilized primarily as a substitute for ginseng (Panax ginseng).  The botanical name derives from the plant’s bell-like flowers and the hairy character of its young growing parts.  The Chinese name given to this herb, dangshen, indicates that it was deemed a ginseng-like plant (ginseng is renshen) from the Shandang region of Shanxi Province, which had been the principal source for ginseng in ancient times.  It has been argued that the ginseng plant of ancient texts was actually codonopsis, rather than Panax ginseng, though the botanical source materials are difficult to trace back historically.  Codonopsis didn’t appear in any of the herbals prior to the Qing Dynasty; it was first mentioned in the Bencao Congxin (by Wu Yiluo; 1751) and in the Bencao Gangmu Shiyi (by Zhao Xuemin; 1765).  Though the genus Codonopsis originates in East Asia and is found growing wild, the modern supply of the medicinal plant comes from cultivation.  The roots are harvested in autumn after three years growth; they have a mild, sweet taste and are used in some Chinese food therapy recipes; for example, chicken soup may be prepared with codonopsis, astragalus, lotus seed, lycium fruit, and other mild herbs to make a good tasting qi tonic. -by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon

More from this collection