Codonopsis pilosula is popular for its ability to support mental health, boost memory, and enhance the immune system. The herb acts as an “adaptogen,” and works just like ginseng. As a matter of fact, codonopsis is often referred to as the “poor man’s ginseng.” This substitute for ginseng, also known as dangshen, poor man’s ginseng, and bonnet bell flowers, contains other potential health benefits.
While there are about forty different types of Codonopsis plant, only two of its main varieties — Codonopsis pilosula and Codonopsis tangshen are used to prepare herbal remedies.
The Health Benefits of Codonopsis
Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of Codonopsis.
Boosts Brain Activity
According to some studies, when used in combination with Gingko Biloba, codonopsis boosts memory better than when Gingko Biloba is used alone. Although more research is needed to verify this, it is believed that gingko and codonopsis work better when used together.
Acts as an Adaptogen
Similar to other adaptogens, codonopsis is effective for alleviating stress and boosting the body’s tolerance to stress. In case you didn’t know, an adaptogen is a substance that is believed to help the body handle both physical and mental stress better. Adaptogens like codonopsis and ginseng are often used in traditional Chinese medicine. However, there is no scientific verification that these adaptogens really work.
Alleviates Fatigue and Stress
In these modern times, stress is increasingly becoming more common and can result in a number of health problems. Thankfully, Codonopsis is an adaptogenic herb that helps strengthen the body’s ability to fight off trauma, fatigue, anxiety, and high levels of stress.
In the case of adrenal gland fatigue, it is commonly caused by long-term stress. And when the adrenal glands work too hard and too long, this can result in excessive amounts of the adrenal hormones getting into the blood. To deal with high levels of stress, you may need hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine. However, using large amounts of these hormones can lead to certain health problems such as severe tiredness as well as exhaustion.
What Codonopis does is to help you deal with the stress and fatigue with ease while also boosting your stamina levels. Codonopsis also blocks adrenal cortex action, helping the adrenal gland to halt the production of excessive amounts of these chemicals when you stop needing them. This takes a significant pressure off your adrenal glands.
Protects Against Fatty Liver
According to a study, this amazing herb may help safeguard against alcoholic fatty liver. The body needs herbs like codonopsis because alcohol consumption is the most common cause of fatty liver across the world.
Based on the findings of some research, there are strong indications that codonopsis may help lower inflammation. As a matter of fact, the herb contains anti-inflammatory properties due to its saponin content. Some studies suggest that codonopsis can boost the inflammatory response of certain immune system cells and reduce nitric oxide and tumor necrosis factor. While these study results suggest that codonopsis should be an effective herbal remedy with potent anti-inflammatory abilities, more research is needed to ascertain its health benefits in this regard.
Aids in Digestion
The digestive system consists of a range of different functions that can be affected by stress. Stress can have an effect on intestinal flora levels that ensures that your digestive tract stays healthy. But codonopsis helps to fortify the spleen and stomach area. ijCodonopsis is also believed to help to boost appetite, treat digestive problems as well as support the kidneys. The herb contains anti-ulcerogenic properties, which protects against ulcers.
Codonopsis is one the traditional Chinese herbs that may actually be effective for treating diabetes and minimizing the complications that come with the condition. In fact, according to a study, codonopsis is considered effective as it may be useful for the treatment of chronic health conditions such as diabetes with little or no side effects, less expensive and better tolerance than conventional medicines. Codonopsis contains significant ability to lower blood glucose activity, however, a lot more research is needed to verify this health benefit.
Codonopsis is also an amazing tonic that boosts immunity. The herb helps to give the body increased immunity and may be effective as a treatment for ongoing lung infections or if you’re prone to getting colds or the flu. Codonopsis is used to treat dry coughs and lung conditions that come with wheezing. It is known to also improve the effects of cancer chemotherapy drugs, as well as helping to boost immunity during the illness.
Contains Anti-aging Properties
Some people link memory problems with aging and codonopsis is one solution that can help slow the aging process in the body. In fact, adaptogenic herbs are known to contain antioxidants that aid longevity–they protect the body from the damage of oxidation.
It is common for the body to, sometimes, react to stress with headaches and migraines. But luckily, codonopsis is effective as a treatment for headaches that are as a result of high blood pressure and muscular tension.
Forms of Codonopsis
Codonopsis comes in many forms – tablet, tea, and tincture. This herb is commonly present in herbal tonics labeled as “ginseng.” These kinds of tonics are less expensive to produce than formulations that have actual ginseng. However, it does not necessarily imply that codonopsis is less potent. As a matter of fact, sometimes, codonopsis can be more effective than ginseng in certain formulations.
Side Effects and Precautions of Codonopsis
Codonopsis has a really low toxicity but an overdose can result in irregular pulse and precordial discomfort, which automatically gets better after stopping the medication. The herb should not be taken in excess and for too long.
The Bottom Line
Codonopsis root serves as food in several parts of Asia, particularly China and Korea. That is not even all there is to the herb–codonopsis contains a diverse range of potential health benefits. However, more research still needs to be carried out to further verify how potent its many health benefits are. And as always, talk to a doctor before trying any new supplement, particularly if you suffer from a health condition.