Codonopsis ( 党参 ) ...Chinese Herb...

Latin Plant Name

Codonopsis Pilosulae

Pinyin Mandarin Name

Dang Shen

Common English Name


Part of Plant Used






Meridians Entered

Spleen, Lungs

Common Usages

This herb is used in formulas to treat fatigue with poor appetite where there is poor internal metabolism (TCM: stimulates function of Spleen and Stomach to normalize movement of fluids; tonifies Spleen and Lungs to metabolize and disperse Qi); also used for chronic diarrhea (TCM: chronic Spleen Qi deficiency); and to treat symptoms of easy bruising and prolapse of Organs and tissues such as uterus and hemorrhoids.

Traditional Usages and Functions

Tonifies Middle Burner and benefits Qi; tonifies Lungs; strengthens and tonifies Qi and nourishes fluids; builds Blood.

Common Formulas Used In

Tang Gui and Indigo

Processing Required



Codonopsis is often substituted for ginseng, although it is not as strong. Some practitioners consider codonopsis to be more damp than ginseng, thus requiring more care in use, especially with a serious collapse of Qi and Yang, a condition where ginseng shines as a treatment.

Cautions in Use


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