Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous) or Huang Qi, has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. It is usually combined with other herbs (eg. angelica) to strengthen the body against disease. Astragalus is called an adaptogen, meaning it helps protect the body against various stresses, including physical, mental, or emotional stress.
This root may help protect the body from diseases such as cancer and diabetes. It contains antioxidants, which protect cells against damage. It also supports the immune system, preventing colds and upper respiratory infections, lowering blood pressure, treating diabetes, and protecting the liver.
Astragalus has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It comes in the form of tincture, capsules and tablets, injectable and topical (for the skin).
Astragalus is used commonly in Chinese cooking
Herb of the Month - Astragalus
Property: Slightly Warm
Meridian: Spleen and Lung
Actions: Tonify Qi and Blood- helps improve blood flow and for anemic patients.
Treat Spleen Qi Deficiency (fatigue, anorexia and loose stool/diarrhea).
Treat Lung Qi Deficiency - coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath.
Mild diuretic - promotes urination and reduces edema.
Raises Yang - Helps with organ prolapse (rectal or uterine).
Do not use during third semester of pregnancy
Not for excess exterior pathogens/heat
Not for patients with allergies
Astragalus is a perennial plant, about 16 to 36 inches tall, and is native to the northern and eastern parts of China, as well as Mongolia and Korea. It has hairy stems with leaves made up of 12 to 18 pairs of leaflets. The root is the medicinal part of the plant, and is usually harvested from 4-year-old plants.