Information on Codonopsis

Latin NameCodonopsis pilosula
Other NamesBellflower
Part UsedRoot
Herb FormsTablets, capsules, bulk herb.
AffectsEndocrine system, Digestive system, Immune system, Respiratory system
CautionsNone noted.
Botanical InfoA perennial vine with long white sweet roots. The flowers are bell-shaped and purple with yellow highlights. Originally from China, the vine is increasingly cultivated in other countries.
DescriptionCodonopsis tonifies digestion, alleviates fatigue, increases the appetite, and is a general strengthener. It is often used in place of ginseng but has a milder effect and is not as stimulating. Codonopsis tastes pleasant and sweet--the roots can be added to teas and soups for their general strengthening properties. It is one of the first herbs to think of when fatigue is present, and it is an important lung tonic used for chronic coughs, chronic asthma, or lung weakness in general. Codonopsis increases red blood cell counts and strengthens the respiratory tract and the immune system.

Codonopsis has a taste of SWEET and a temperature of NEUTRAL.


Powder3 capsules 2 x daily
Decoction1 cup 2-3 x daily

Ailments Treated by Codonopsis

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Lungs, weaklung strengthenertea, tincture, tablet
Fatigueimmune strengthenertablet, tea
Digestion, poordigestive tonictea, capsule


Leung, A. and S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Bensky, D. and A. Gamble. 1986. Chinese Herbal Medicine. Seattle: Eastland Press.