Tuesday, September 19, 2006

An Alternative Ginseng

I wrote a little about ginsengs a few days ago, (see More Than One Ginseng), today I want to mention another herbal tonic, Codonopsis (Radix Codonopsis pilosulae). It is a common substitute for ginseng in traditional herbal remedies, and, in many formulations from China, is more commonly used than ginseng.

This is not an attempt by the herbal manufacturer to rip off consumers, but the substitution is made because the effects of ginseng and codonopsis are quite similar. They are both excellent general tonics, with balancing and invigorating actions on the body and its systems.

Ginseng is much more expensive than codonopsis, and good codonopsis is much more effective than poor quality ginseng. The difference in price allows the use of very good quality codonopsis at the same price as poor quality ginseng, which gives the consumer a better value in the herbal remedy.

A major difference between the two is that ginseng is believed to affect the physical, mental, and spiritual parts of an individual, whereas codonopsis works more on the physical level.
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