ASTRAGALUS ROOT (ASTRAGALUS MEMBRANACEUS)
It provides deep-level immune support while assisting the body in adapting to daily stress.
Astragalus propinquus (Huang Qi) has been a foundational herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years. It is included in formulas to support Wei Qi (Chi), or the conceptual “shield” which serves as a primary defense mechanism against pernicious threats to the system. Sweet and nourishing, Astragalus is often included in recipes for soups, which are used for convalescence and general strengthening of the system. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Astragalus is said to tonify the “spleen” and hence is used for fatigue linked to decreased appetite. Astragalus is part of the Milk Vetch or Fabaceae family. Astragalus herb is traditionally used in its dried powdered form or as a strong decoction, made from boiling the dried root in water for an extended period.
Astragalus has become a renowned tonic in Western herbalism over the past two decades, primarily for its adaptogenic and tonic immune qualities. Scientific studies demonstrate that astragalus regulates white blood cell (immune cell) activity and stimulates our natural killer cells (NK cells) to present a strong front against pathogens. Astragalus has also demonstrated increased interferon production (an antiviral and immune-signaling agent produced by the body).
There is a great deal of research interest in Astragalus. It contains Astragalosides (antioxidants), which support the integrity of the respiratory tract. In addition, the polysaccharides found in Astragalus are known for their immune supporting properties. Astragalus herb also supports deep immune function by promoting normal levels of specific immune cells and aids in their function. Astragalus appears especially effective when immune function is stressed by environmental or endogenous challenges.
Astragalus is best used as a daily remedy to build immune strength—its medicine is slow and sustained, with full benefits reached after weeks of daily ingestion.