Astragalus (Huang Qi)
Botanical Name: Astragalus membranaceus
Astragalus has been used for thousands of years in Oriental medicine as a strength building and longevity herb. It is known worldwide for its powerful tonic and adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s a tasty herb that is also used in many Oriental culinary dishes for its flavor and health benefits.
Remember to check with your doctor before trying new medicines or herbal remedies, especially if you are taking other medication where drug interactions are possible.
Below is an overview of astragalus, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of astragalus.
How to use Astragalus and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
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Western Name: Astragalus
Also Known As: Milkvetch, Locoweed, Goat’s Thorn
Organs/Systems: Immunity, Blood Tonic
Key Actions: Adaptogen, Antioxidant, Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Antiviral, Anti-aging
Medicinal Uses: Diabetes, protects the liver, supports immunity from cancer and HIV, aids recovery from chemo and radiation treatments, fatigue, lack of appetite, stress, and flu.
Also Known As: Big Yellow/Leader
Meridians: Spleen, Lung, Triple Warmer
Key Actions: Major Qi Tonic, Tonify Spleen, Raise Yang Qi of Spleen/Stomach, Tonify Qi and Blood, Promote Urination, Reduce Edema, Promote Discharge of Pus/Generate Flesh
Medicinal Uses: Prolapses, uterine bleeding, post partum fever, blood loss, chronic ulcerations and sores due to deficiency, wasting and thirsting disorders, numbness of limbs, paralysis, and painful obstructions.
Astragalus is native to the temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere, including Mongolia, China, and North Korea. It likes grassy regions and mountain sides with lots of exposure to sunlight.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Root
Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Warm
Caution: Considered very safe. It can inhibit the release of lithium from the body.
Key Constituents: Cyclastagenol (also called TAT2), an adaptogen, polysaccharides, flavonoids, and trace minerals, especially Selenium.
History/Folklore: Astragalus is one of the 50 fundamental herbs described in Oriental medicine. Classified as a tonic herb, it is considered very safe, adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, and strengthening to the whole system. It is considered to be the supreme protector due to its ability to strengthen Wei Qi (Defensive Qi/Energy).
Astragalus has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Persian medicine for thousands of years. The recorded history of the plant Astragalus dates back at least to the 1st century C.E., and the genus was well known to Western European botanists of the 17th century.
Its Chinese name Huang Qi, means Big Yellow and refers to the herb’s connection to the Earth Element, which rules the Spleen and Stomach in Five Element Theory in Oriental medicine. Yellow is the color of the Earth Element and is associated with supporting muscle strength, immunity, digestion, and Blood.
Astragalus is widely used in China to treat chronic hepatitis, cancer recovery, heart disease, diabetes, and a wide variety of lung infections. It is excellent and safe for treating all ages, young and old.
Astragalus is famous for energizing the outside or external aspects of the body, making it a great herb for active children prone to catching seasonal colds, allergies, or other microbial and infectious illnesses. In Oriental medicine, strengthening the outside of the body helps to prevent the invasion of what are called Pathogenic Influences that can cause illness and weaken the body.
Astragalus is popularly used by martial artists to rejuvenate and build muscle.
When used in soups, the herb’s sweet taste lends flavor and health benefits to help tonify the whole body.
Astragalus is traditionally harvested when the plant is at least four or five years old or even older, with the roots being collected in the spring and fall.
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How to use Astragalus to take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
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