Codonopsis: Medicine and Food

After the Chinese Revolution of 1949, codonopsis became the standard replacement for ginseng in nearly all traditional herb medicine formulas.  Ginseng, cultivated for centuries in northeastern China with great difficulty, was reserved for export.  Chinese doctors came to think of codonopsis as a milder version of ginseng and spoke of using at least three times the dosage in order to get about the same potency.  For decoctions, this meant replacing 3-10 grams of ginseng with 9-30 grams of codonopsis.