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Codonopsis pilosula


Codonopsis pilosula
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Campanulaceae
Genus: Codonopsis
Species: C. pilosula
Binomial name
Codonopsis pilosula

Codonopsis pilosula (党参; pinyin: dǎngshēn), also known as dang shen or poor man's ginseng, is a perennial species of flowering plant native to Northeast Asia and Korea and usually found growing around streambanks and forest openings under the shade of trees. The plant is shrubby and dense and has a tendency to climb, producing heart shaped leaves, light green five pointed bell shaped flowers with prominent yellow or light purple veins. The plant can grow up to 8-10 feet in height with roots 1-3 cm thick.


  The roots of C. pilosula (radix) are used in traditional Chinese medicine to lower blood pressure, increase red and white blood cell count, cure appetite loss, strengthen the immune system, and replenish qi. The roots are harvested from the plant during the third or fourth year of growth and dried prior to sale.

The root is also used as a gentler and more economical substitute for Panax ginseng.


  • Codonopsis pilosula var. handeliana - (闪毛党参)
  • Codonopsis pilosula var. modesta - (素花党参)
  • Codonopsis pilosula var. volubilis - (缠绕党参)


  • Wang ZT, et al. "Immunomodulatory effect of a polysaccharide-enriched preparation of codonopsis pilosula roots." Gen Pharmacol Dec 1996;27(8):1347-50.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Codonopsis_pilosula". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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