With the pollen being levels elevated, the cold and flu season approaching, astragalus is an excellent choice for immune and stress support. Astragalus membranesous, also known as the Chinese herbal, Huang Qi, is one of the first herbal medicines I learned about and it is still one of my favorites. Astragalus has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. Astragaus is called an adaptogen, meaning it helps protect the body against various stresses, including physical, mental, or emotional stress.
Astragalus is a powerful immune booster as it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that astragalus has antiviral properties and that it stimulates the immune system. I primarily use Astragalus for allergies, for preventing or treating colds and upper respiratory infections, especially in people who feel "worn out" or "run down".
Astragalus not only posses immune boosting power, it is also a powerful antioxidant, meaning that is can protect cells against abnormal growth or damage. Therefore, it may help protect the body from cancer. Researchers have looked at astragalus as a possible treatment for people whose immune systems have been weakened by chemotherapy or radiation. In these studies, astragalus supplements seem to help people recover faster and live longer!
The medicinal part of the Astragalus plant is the root. The root is harvested then made into teas, tinctures, or extracts. My favorite way to take astragalus in an alcohol free tincture form, known as a glycerite. A glycerite preparation is prepared with vegetable glycerine which is slightly sweet, which provides for a rather delightful medicine. I usually add this formula to my drinking water or if I feel I am coming down with something, I may decide to take it 3 to 5 times daily.
Astragalus is also available in capsules. I recommend Gaia brand Astragalus Supreme Liquid phytocaps as they are more potent that dried herbal capsules.
Astragalus is generally safe and has minimal drug interactions. You can use a herb-drug interaction checker or ask your physician, if you are interested in using astragalus.
If you would like to try Astragalus, you can find it on our affiliate store, EMERALDMERCH.
Duan P, Wang ZM. [Clinical study on effect of Astragalus in efficacy enhancing and toxicity reducing of chemotherapy in patients of malignant tumor]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2002;22(7):515-517.