Eagle Herbs formulas that call for ginseng (人参, 人蔘, rénshēn) include real ginseng, not the cheaper alternative called Codonopsis pilosula (党参, dǎngshēn)*.
Codonopsis root is not a true ginseng, though it does roughly the same thing for the digestion as ginseng. It is cheaper which is good for those who want to save money, but it also requires close to 5 times the dosage to achieve the same effects as true ginseng.
I can’t say how long Codonopsis has served as a low-cost replacement for ginseng, but traditional formula recipes never call for Codonopsis, only ginseng.
At Eagle Herbs, we decided to go with the more pricey ginseng for all of our formulas that call for this ingredient. Ginseng is quite a magical and chemically complex herb that I don’t believe should be swapped out of a formula for the sake of keeping the price down. I realize that there are those who may prefer the lower-cost substitutions available. If that applies to you, you can probably find a cheaper alternative online somewhere else.