It is now cultivated in many other areas of the world including the United States. Its bell-shaped greenish-purple flowers have helped it gain its two other names in the English language: bastard ginseng and bonnet bellflower.
Codonopsis is best known in Chinese herbalism where it is referred to as tang shen. It has been used there for more than 2,000 years and is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese alternative medicine.
In Chinese health, the yin and yang aspects of nature must remain balanced in order to maintain overall health of mind and body. Here are the properties of each.
* Yin: cold, dark, moisture, passivity
* Yang: heat, light, dryness, activity
When the body suffers from inner disharmony, the elements and energies must be rebalanced. Herbs and treatments are taken to restore harmonious balance, and therefore bring yin and yang back to equal counterparts of each other.
Codonopsis has a sweet taste and a neutral nature. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it is taken as a tonic to nourish and strengthen the blood and to balance metabolic function. It also helps to keep the lungs and spleen healthy.
Codonopsis is an adaptogen. This means that it helps to regulate the body and enhance its ability to tolerate stress. It helps to increase the overall performance of the body to aid it in combating disease and maintaining a healthy immune system.
This herb stimulates the body’s nervous system. It also increases resistance to colds, flu and other infections. It has been shown that Codonopsis increases the number of red blood cells and hemoglobin content.
Codonopsis benefits the entire body by:
* Increasing stamina
* Building strength
* Increasing mental alertness
* Rejuvenating the system
* Strengthening the immune system
* Speeding recovery from illness
* Stimulating the appetite
* Reducing stress
* Improving digestive functions
Taken in the form of a tonic, Codonopsis is a nourishing herb. It is used to promote digestion, absorption and metabolism. It is also said to strengthen and tone the stomach and spleen.
It has been found to reduce blood pressure, as well, by inhibiting adrenal cortex activity and dilating peripheral blood vessels. For the lungs, it helps to treat shortness of breath and chronic coughing.
Codonopsis can also be taken to address specific conditions beyond whole body health. Some of these are anemia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, asthma, hemorrhoids, headaches, tension and prolapsed uterus. Nursing mothers can take Codonopsis in order to increase their supply of breast milk.
Codonopsis has even been discovered to aid in fighting cancer when used in conjunction with other conventional medical therapy. It has been found to have properties that assist in helping to protect patients from the harmful side effects of radiation therapy. This seems to happen without diminishing the effectiveness of the therapy.
Overall, Codonopsis has many uses and benefits to the body. It is an immune system booster and all around promoter of bodily health. It works to stabilize and strengthen many different areas of the body together, as well as separately.
Codonopsis seems to be one of the best herbs of its kind for use in maintaining a healthy and balanced body. As more studies are performed on this beneficial herb, new discoveries will be made as to its other healing properties and benefits to the human body.
Thanks to Darrell Miller for contributing this article to our Ginseng blog:
I’m really sensative to anything that says “increases energy” but I just got this free 30 day sample of these vitamins called “Good Days” that are supposed to be healthy for body and mind.
Do any of these cause people to be jittery:
panax ginseng, rhodiola rosea, astragalus, and wild ujube & cordyceps, as well as the omega-3 with EPA and DHA.
Wisconsin American Ginseng
Lending her name to the word aphrodisiacs comes directly in line with this propensity and association. Natural aphrodisiacs have long been for the creation of lust with little concern for love and beauty. Literature has attempted to change this and the marketing world of the twentieth century forced a different view on the buying public.
As her priestesses were forced into ongoing prostitution with little hope beyond the temple life, and the use of natural aphrodisiacs seems to have arisen from this role. For centuries natural aphrodisiacs have been touted for their effectiveness and include ginkgo biloba, ginseng, damiana, artichokes, strawberries, oysters, rhinoceros horn, tiger penis and chocolate. While the rhinoceros horn and tiger penis are illegal to obtain, the remainder of the aphrodisiacs are easily accessible in the modern world.
Different Natural Aphrodisiacs And Their Effects
An aphrodisiac is a substance which increase sexual desire, though they work in many different ways to affect sexual desire and sexual performance. Ginkgo biloba is a considered a natural aphrodisiac and comes from the seeds of the “female” gingko trees. They are widely used in natural remedies or several kinds and are generally available at most health food stores. The reasons for this is increased blood flow. The leaves are widely used in memory and concentration
Ginseng is also considered a natural aphrodisiac and comes from ginseng root and affect the central nervous system and gonadal tissues. Thereby, they work differently than ginkgo and several others on the list. This is widely found in health food stores.
Damiana is a shrub and the leaves are made into a tea that is used as a natural aphrodisiac . This plant works on widening the blood vessels, and it is easily found in any health food store. It can be produced in several variations for inclusion into food and drink.
Artichokes are considered a natural aphrodisiac , though have no properties which affect the human body other than to reduce hunger. The eating of the artichoke is considered sensual for the process. They received their reputation more from their association with Catherine de Medici, who was considered a very sensual woman. These can be found in any grocery store.
Strawberries are another food considered to be a natural aphrodisiac though like th artichoke simple for how they look, taste and smell. They have no medical change to the body to heighten sexual function or sexual arousal. These also can be found in any grocery store, though the ones picked during the regular growing season have a more full-bodied taste and scent.
Oysters are also listed in the natural aphrodisiac list, though this time with reason. They contain a high level of zinc which is required in the production of testosterone. Testosterone has been used to increase sexual desire and function in both men and women. Oysters are a shellfish that is much more commonly available on the coasts, but can be found in most grocery stores.
Since we are ignoring the illegal substances, we are left with chocolate, which is also considered a natural aphrodisiac . It has an effect on the human body, by increasing the serotonin levels in the brain thereby produced a happy feeling. Chocolate is widely available to almost any store.
Natural aphrodisiacs go back through the history of the written word and passed from generation to generation of the spoken word. What is true that all the of natural aphrodisiacs listed here have differing effects on the human body and may not work for everyone. However, its always fun trying.
Thanks to Brian Welsch for contributing this article to our Ginseng blog:
Specifically I have heard about “thyroid calming” which you give 2 small black pills, twice a day. Any advice would be appreciated. Trying to avoid the high cost of vet prescribed pills for now.
Have you claimed your Genesis site?
More generally it can be defined as any approach or medicine which differs from conventional Western forms. Alternative medicine is often talked about in conjunction with Complementary Therapy and the umbrella term Complementary & Alternative Medicine or CAM is used.
As a general guide some of the more mainstream CAMs are acupuncture, acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal medicine, homoeopathy, hypnotherapy, massage therapy, naturopathy, reiki, reflexology & Yoga.
Alternative medicine in the UK is growing year on year and in 2006 it generated expenditure of 1.6 billion pounds. Large numbers of people choose to seek out alternative forms of medicine subsequent to a diagnosis from their GP or other traditional route. However in the main, research shows that people tend to use CAMs in parallel with conventional medicine. There is often resistance from GPs to recommend or refer a patient to an alternative therapy where they consider empirical evidence to be limited or non-conclusive and the research methods are not always standardised as with traditional medicine. There are also often funding issues relating to onward referrals within the NHS.
However, the CAM sector is responding to this criticism by adopting the standard research methods & evidence provision in line with the medical establishments traditional methods. This is largely assisting with the rapid growth of this multi-layered industry, alongside the continually growing wealth of positive empirical evidence.
Generally speaking CAM’s can be organised into five key areas, although it should be noted that there are number of areas where these overlap. These areas are -
Whole Medical Systems (WMS)
WHMS have been developed in the West – often with it roots in other medicine systems. Examples of this type of system are Naturopathy – helping or stimulating the body’s own in-built healing system by improving diet & lifestyle in conjunction with other CAMs such as acupuncture and massage. A good non Western parallel to this system is Chinese Medicine as is Ayurveda which hails from India and takes the holistic approach of treating the mind body & spirit via massage, yoga, herbs & meditation.
Another WMS which developed in recent years in the West is Homeopathy the practice of stimulating the healing system of the body by delivering minute amounts of certain elements or substances which in much higher doses would be detrimental or dangerous to a patient’s health.
Mind-Body Medicine (MBM)
MBM can call upon a number of techniques which are aimed at improving the symptoms & functions of the body e.g. meditation, Yoga etc. A number of therapies which historically where thought to be CAMs are now firmly placed in the mainstream such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming).
Biologically Based Practices (BBP)
BBP are derived from elements and materials which are found naturally such as vitamins for supplements, healthy foods for well being & detoxification and herbs helping with everything from pain relief to stress & weight loss. Biologically based practices in CAM use substances found in nature, such as herbs, foods, and vitamins. Some examples include dietary supplements, herbal products, and the use of other so-called natural but as yet scientifically unproven therapies (for example, using shark cartilage to treat cancer).
Manipulative and Body-Based Practices (MBBP)
MBBP work by manipulation, pressure and rubbing of soft tissues and muscles aimed at promoting repair, better health & flexibility. These type of therapy work by removing scar tissue, promoting oxygen flow and helping the removal of toxins and acids.
A number are further examples of therapies which are becoming less and less alternative and more mainstream. These include Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Massage & other body work such as Shiatsu and Sports Massage.
Energy Medicine Therapies (EMT)
EMT are believed to help the patient by tapping into the energy fields which cloak the human body and restoring balance, improving energy flow and clearing blockages. Examples of these type of therapies are Reiki, Chinese Medicine and Energy Healing.
So, why the growth in CAMs? Well, in recent years patients have gradually taken more accountability & responsibility for their health and are not as happy as maybe they once were to be told what to do or how to live. As a result they are becoming more autonomous and seeking out their own alternatives and solutions.
It is important to note they don’t side step mainstream traditional medicine but seek help from CAMs to complement their treatment. Part of the reason for this empowerment is the growth of the internet and the ease of access to swathes of information, research, forums and feedback available at a click on the World Wide Web. Recent research has shown that over 60% of internet users use the web to provide answers on health related issues.
In addition to the ground swell of the general public embracing CAMs, areas of traditional medicine are adopting and recommending alternative therapies. The NHS now has as 5 hospitals offering CAMs for patients and more and more health professionals such as doctors, nurses and mid wives are training in alternative therapies to offer within their mainstream practice.
Thanks to Shaun Parker for contributing this article to our Ginseng blog:
Shaun Parker has tried a wide variety of different alternative medicine therapies and shares his experiences to help those looking for alternative medicines.
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Wisconsin American Ginseng