It would be easy to write about turmeric (though technically not a root, but a rhizome), or dandelion root, but we hear about these two all the time – so why not dig into good old Codonopsis? I included this lesser known herb in my autumn roots series, because it deserves some attention.

Known by Latin names Codonopsis Pilosula or Codonopis Tangshen, this medicinal is one you have probably never heard of. Similar to astragalus in many ways, Codonopsis deeply nourishes the immune system and can help with recovery from things like chronic fatigue syndrome and extreme exhaustion. Codonopsis is also used to support the body through cancer, HIV, and AIDS.

One feature that makes Codonopsis so distinctive and special is that it also helps with absorption of nutrients, and builds what is referred to in Chinese medicine as “Digestive Qi” (pronounced ‘Chi)’. Have you ever seen someone who looks pale, emaciated or very thin and fatigued? They may be someone who is not able to absorb nutrients very well. Without good absorption, it’s very hard to fully heal from any illness or condition! Codonopsis is used to warm and gently nourish the person and their digestive strength.

And for all the midwives and doulas out there whose clients have prolapsed organs such as bladder or uterus, or who have hemorrhoids – codonopsis will help. Another great plus? Codonopsis helps prevent and heal ulcers, and can even help with anemia! It is quite a versatile root indeed!