Dang Shen - Codonopsis Root

TCM Materia Medica

Dang Shen TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "dang shen" which in english is Dang Shen herb"codonopsis root", is categorized within the "herbs that tonify qi" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the lung and spleen channels and exhibits neutral (ping) and sweet (gan) taste/temperature properties.

Dosages and preparations will vary according to each individual and the overall approach of a formula, but generally this herb has the following dosage and/or preparation guidelines:

  • Dosage: 9-30g

Of many possible clinical applications, it may be considered to influence the following issues/symptoms:

  • Tonifies the middle warmer, augments the qi - lack of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, any spleen qi deficiency issues, prolapse of uterus, stomach, rectum.
  • Tonifies the lungs - lung deficiency w/chronic cough, shortness of breath, copious sputum due to spleen qi deficiency.
  • Nourishes fluids - xiao ke, thirst due to injury to fluids.
  • Often used with herbs that release the exterior when patient has significant qi deficiency.

A single herb is not often thought of as an empirical way to influence a TCM diagnostic pattern. Dang Shen, however, is a strong candidate to be considered when needing to influence spleen qi deficiency.

Dang Shen may potentially be used, in coordination with a well tailored formula (in most cases), to influence the following conditions: cough, diarrhea, fatigue and/or vomiting

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, dang shen is generally included in the following 12 formulas:

ViewBan Xia Xie Xin Wan (Pinellia Drain Epigastrium Pills)

Distension and fullness of the epigastrium usually without pain. Borborygmus (gurgling sounds), and diarrhea if spleen qi is affected. Vomiting with possible dry heaves due to rebellious stomach qi…

ViewDu Huo Ji Sheng Wan (Solitary Hermit Teapills)

For chronic pain due to obstruction (bi zheng) with liver and kidney deficiency. For lower back pain often with weakness and/or pain in the knees. For arthritis, especially the type affected by col…

ViewGu Ben Wan (Replenish the Root Teapills)

Dryness from yin deficiency - dry skin, dry eyes, dry cough, dry stools/constipation. Fatigue, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, possible anxiety. Other yin deficient symptoms such as night s…

ViewJian Pi Wan (Strengthen Spleen Pills)

For stomach and spleen qi deficiency with dampness that has potentially generated mild interior-heat - diarrhea, abdominal pain, poor appetite, epigastric pain. May be used in early pregnancy for mo…

ViewQi Xue Da Bu Wan (Nourish Qi & Blood Pills)

Fatigue, lethargy, sensation of feeling heavy or cold. Low appetite, bloating, borborygmus, loose bowels. Impotence, infertility, low libedo. Insomnia, night sweats, vivid dreams, nightmares.

ViewRen Shen Shou Wu Wan (Ginseng Fo-Ti Pills)

Hair loss, dry hair, greying hair as a result of dimished jing/essence. Low sperm count, low libedo, and infertility.

ViewSheng Mai San Wan (Generate the Pulse Pills)

Respiratory issues from lung qi and yin deficiencies - chronic cough, wheezing. May be used for damage from longer term illnesses and/or the overuse of wind clearing formulas for colds/flus - nights…

ViewShi Quan Da Bu Wan (Ten Tonics Nourishment Pills)

Coming Soon...

ViewWen Jing Wan (Warm the Menses Formula)

Irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, excessive uterine bleeding or spotting between cycles.  Infertility, history of miscarriage. 

ViewWu Ji Bai Feng Wan (Black Chicken White Phoenix Pills)

Coming Soon...

ViewXiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Wan (Aucklandia, Amomi & Six Gentlemen Pills)

A modified version of the base, zhi zhu wan, which is used to treat qi stagnation and food retention from qi deficiency.  This modification includes herbs which add more movement and damp drying. Di…

ViewXi Guan Jie Bi Tong Wan (Knee Joint Pain Relief)

Arthritis from damp heat in Chinese Medicine terms. Knee issues with kidney and liver systems involvement. Lower body pain and/or inflammation - hips, knees, ankles, toes especially when the pain m…

As noted above, dang shen is within the herbs that tonify qi functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

(truncated intro "... herbs in this category are generally sweet and rich. they are most often combined with herbs that move and regulate the qi. )".

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