Codonopsis: Medicine and Food

Chinese doctors have concluded that codonopsis is especially useful in cases of weak spleen qi leading to loose stool and diarrhea or to other instances of descending qi, and for cases of blood deficiency that may be secondary to qi deficiency.  Thus, traditional formulas for restoring the spleen qi (e.g., Renshen Yangrong Tang—Ginseng Nutritive Combination; Guipi Tang—Ginseng and Longan Combination; and Buzhong Yiqi Tang—Ginseng and Astragalus Combination) might be made with codonopsis instead of ginseng and retain good effects.  In the three formulations mentioned, astragalus, atractylodes, tang-kuei, and citrus are included.  In particular, astragalus may be an important adjunct to codonopsis in getting the desired improvements in spleen qi.  Astragalus has saponins and polysaccharides among its active component to complement the similar ingredients present in codonopsis.

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