Dang Shen (Radix Codonopsis)——Zeng Ding Ben Cao Bei Yao (Supplement and Revision of Essence Materia Medica)
The Processing of Dang Shen
The root of the perennial herbaceous plant Codonopsis Pilosula (Franch.) Nannf. , C. Pilosula Nannf. var. modesta (Nannf.) L. T. Shen, or C. tangshen Oliv. of the family Campanuulaceae.
Shanxi, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces in China.
Plucked in autumn.
The actual smell and taste
Distinctively fragrant, strong smell and slightly sweet in flavor.
Stout root, soft, moist, chewed without dreg.
Sliced thickly, unprocessed.
The Effect of Dang Shen
Sweet, neutral; lung and spleen meridians entered.
Invigorate lung-qi and spleen-qi, nourish blood, and promote the generation of body fluid.
A. Syndrome of lung-spleen qi deficiency
This herb is similar but inferior to Ren Shen, with the action of invigorating lung-qi and spleen-qi, and neither dry nor greasy in nature. Therefore, it is indicated for all syndromes (symptoms) caused by deficiency of spleen-lung qi. For the light syndrome of spleen-lung qi deficiency, Dang Shen is substituted for Ren Shen in the formula such as Si Jun Zi Tang, Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, Gui Pi Tang. For weak physique, lassitude, poor appetite, loose stool and other symptoms due to spleen-qi deficiency, it is usually combined with spleen-tonifying and damp-removing herbs, such as Bai Zhu, Fu Ling. For anal prolapse, long-term diarrhea, prolapse of internal organs caused by collapse of middle qi due to spleen-qi deficiency, it is combined with qi-tonifying and yang-raising herbs, such as Huang Qi, Sheng Ma. For cold-pain in stomach and abdomen, vomiting or diarrhea due to spleen-qi deficiency with cold-pathogen, it is combined with spleen-tonifying and middle-warming herbs, such as Bai Zhu, Gan Jiang. For chronic bleeding due to spleen-qi deficiency failing to keep the blood in the vessels, it can be used singly in large dosage to tonify qi and keep the blood in the vessels or combined with other qi-tonifying and bleeding-stopping herbs in order to enhance the effect. For shortness of breath, cough and dyspnea, difficult in speaking with faint low voice caused by lung-qi insufficiency, it is usually combined with lung-tonifying and asthma-relieving herbs, such as Huang Qi, Wu Wei Zi and Ge Jie.
B. Blood deficiency syndrome or syndrome of both qi and blood deficiency
This herb can tonify qi and blood but is inferior to Ren Shen and is substituted for Ren Shen commonly. It is indicated for blood deficiency due to insufficient qi production caused by deficiency, or blood deficiency syndrome or syndrome of both qi and blood deficiency due to insufficient qi production caused by blood deficiency. These syndromes are manifested as pale or sallow complexion, lassitude, vertigo, palpitation, etc. It is applied together with yin-nourishing and body-fluid-generating herbs, such as Mai Dong and Wu Wei Zi.
Dosage and Administrations
Decoct 10~30 g.