Codonopsis is a hardy perennial climbing vine in the Campanulaceae family with beautiful bell like flowers that bees and other pollinators love. A commonly used plant in Chinese medicine where known as Dang Shen, or poor man’s Ginseng, this plant is said to have similar effects to Ginseng but less stimulating. Dang Shen is touted to nourish Yin, tonify the spleen, improve digestive function, is a superior respiratory tonic and helps clear excessive mucus from the lungs. Dan Shen holds a valuable place in Chinese medicine as a plant that tonifies Qi. In the west we identify Codonopsis as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances (usually plants) that help us to tolerate and adapt to stressors and are often tonics to various systems in the body. Codonopsis is said to reduce levels of adrenaline and thereby helps to balance our system. Codonopsis’ main actions are on the lungs, spleen and stomach. It can also help boost the immune system and increase energy and vitality.
Codonopsis (Codonopsis pilosula)