Codonopsis is a perennial herb a genus in the family Campanulaceae. The slightly curved cylindrical root is 1 to 1.7cm in diameter, with a swollen top on the root head, tumour-like stem scars in the majority, cream to greyish brown skin, and vertical and horizontal wrinkles.
Stems are twining, long, and branched. Codonopsis remedies have been used in the treatment of cancer and tumours. One beneficial effect of the codonopsis on the body is that it increases the red and white blood cell count.
Codonopsis is among the traditional Chinese medicinal herbs that may be useful for treating diabetes and reducing diabetic complications, according to a July 2011 study published in the “Journal of Ethno- pharmacology.
This herb may help protect against alcoholic fatty liver, according to a December 2009 study published in the “Journal of Medicinal Food. It’s often found in herbal tonics labelled “ginseng.”
Such tonics are cheaper for manufacturers to produce than formulations that contain actual ginseng, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re less effective for you, according to “Prescription for Herbal Healing” by herbalist Phyllis Balch. Codonopsis has been used for centuries for loss of appetite, diarrhoea and vomiting.
It can prevent peptic ulcers from forming. It eases asthma attacks and may also be used to ease the effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients.
Breastfeeding women use this herb as a tonic to help produce more milk. Working as adaptogen, Codonopsis improves body’s tolerability to stress, reducing the level of adrenalin. It also dilates peripheral blood vessels, lowering thus high blood pressure.
This herb is typically taken as herbal tea, tablets and tinctures. Although the root is sometimes taken raw, you can find commercial preparations easily.
One half teaspoon of the tincture taken with water 3 times per day can be used as a tonic. There are no known side effects for this herb. There do not appear to be any known drug interactions with this herb.