Ginseng root vs. Codonopsis root

Eagle Herbs formulas that call for ginseng (人参, 人蔘, rénshēn) often 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 a larger 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 often call for Codonopsis, only ginseng.

At Eagle Herbs, we sometimes 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, however sometimes a formula is better served when using Codonopsis (Dang Shen) or its cousin Tai Zi Shen.

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