Codonopsis is a family of plants used in China and Korea to replenish vital energy, or qi. It's sometimes used as a cheaper alternative to Panax ginseng.

Codonopsis contains chemicals that seem to slow down the growth of cancer cells. It also seems to affect the immune system.

People use codonopsis for HIV/AIDS, cancer, obesity, diabetes, heartburn, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Codonopsis is sometimes called "poor man's ginseng" because it's used in commercial products as a substitute for Panax ginseng. But none of the active chemicals in ginseng have been found in codonopsis. They are not the same.
When taken by mouth: Codonopsis is possibly safe when used appropriately. Doses of 6-9 grams seem to be safe. But codonopsis is possibly unsafe when used in large amounts. Doses of 30-60 grams have been linked with side effects including chest pain, throat pain, dizziness, confusion, and other symptoms.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if codonopsis is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Surgery: Codonopsis might slow blood clotting. Taking codonopsis might increase the risk for bleeding during and after surgical procedures. Stop using codonopsis at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.br/>


There is interest in using codonopsis for a number of purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

There isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of codonopsis might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Abiraterone (Zytiga)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Abiraterone is a drug used for cancer. Codonopsis might speed up how quickly the body gets rid of abiraterone. This might reduce the anticancer effects of abiraterone.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Codonopsis might slow blood clotting. Taking codonopsis along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting: Codonopsis might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might increase the risk of bleeding in some people. Examples of supplements with this effect include garlic, ginger, ginkgo, nattokinase, and Panax ginseng.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 16/08/2022 22:24:33 and last updated on 23/10/2020 21:18:31. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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