By Smarty — One of many Holistic blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com
Codonopsis root is native to Asia, first discovered and utilized by the ancient Chinese and Japanese cultures. Japanese medicine and traditional Chinese herbal remedies used Codonopsis root to correct qi deficiencies. In particular, Codonopsis root was utilized to treat false fire syndrome, accompanied by symptoms such as headaches, aggressiveness, high blood pressure, tight muscles, and cloudy urine, typically caused by excessive or inappropriate use of ginseng. The ancient Chinese/Japanese cultures also used Codonopsis root as a cooling herb to treat illnesses involving the digestive system including diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
Codonopsis pilosula is a perennial twine with bell shaped green flowers, characterized by purple veins and oval leaves. Mature Codonopsis typically reaches approximately five to six feet in length and is typically located near moist ground at the edge of woods.The Codonopsis root, which is sweet to taste, is usually dried when mature, which usually requires a minimum of three years, and used in herbal remedies. Codonopsis root is often used in substitution for ginseng, as the two herbs have many of the same properties and treat the same symptoms.
Codonopsis root has been scientifically studied and correlations exist connecting it to the reduction of pepsin secretion by the stomach.ï Pepsin is a digestive tract protease, located primarily in the stomach as it requires activation by hydrochloric acid, responsible for the degradation of food proteins into peptides. By reducing the rate of pepsin secretion, the stomach processes food more slowly. Currently, it is typically utilized as a natural herbal treatment for digestive symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, and appetite loss. Codonopsis root has also been associated with the prevention of stress induced peptic ulcers in animal studies.
The study of codonopsis root as an herbal remedy has also been associated with a reduction in production of a hormone associated with the restriction of the bronchial tubes. By reducing this hormone, bronchial passages are opened, easing asthma attacks.
While more research is necessary to confirm these preliminary studies, codonopsis root has also been correlated to have positive effects on cancer and lupus patients. In cancer patients, codonopsis root is used in addition to radiation therapy to assist in recovery. Studies have shown that codonopsis root in the form of tea slows healthy cell destruction. Codonopsis root has been used to aid in the treatment of melanoma, lymphoma, kidney and colorectal cancers, as it is associated with an overall increase in function of the immune system. Because codonopsis root has effects on the immune system, it has also been used to aid in the treatment process of lupus. Lupus is a condition known to attack DNA in skin cells. Skin is a major component of the immune system.
Codonopsis root can be prepared in several ways. It is available isolated in the form of tablets, capsules, tinctures, and herbal teas. Tablets and capsules are typically herbal in form, and codonopsis root is provided in addition to other ingredients known to naturally enhance body mechanisms.
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