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Common Name: Astragalus

Pharmaceutical Name: Astragali Radix


English Variants: Astragalus Root, Milk-Vetch Root
Chinese Name: Huang Qi
TCM Classifications:

Category: tonify Qi
Meridian Tropism: Lung, Spleen
Taste: Sweet
Temperature: Slightly Warm

TCM Functions & Indications

Tonifies Qi & Blood: post-partum fever, severe loss of blood, lack of


appetite, fatigue, diarrhea
Raises Yang Qi: Qi failing to contain blood (easy bleeding and bruising),
sinking and collapse of Qi (prolapse: stomach, uterus, anus, bladder,
etc., varicose veins)
Boosts Protective Qi (immune system) & secures the exterior:
spontaneous or sweating, frequent colds, shortness of breath
Reduces Edema: superficial edema with reduced urination
Promotes discharge of pus and generates flesh: chronic ulcerations,
sores due to deficiency that either have trouble forming pus, or have
formed pus but are not draining or healing well.

Western Medicine Uses: anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, cardiotonic,


detoxification, diuretic, immunostimulant, metabolic.
Also, astragalus has recently been used after treatment with chemotherapy and
radiation to restore the body.
Who should TAKE Astragalus?
Astragalus is an herb that not only is great at giving energy, it also LIFTS the
energy up. There is a concept in Chinese Medicine called Spleen* Qi Sinking, and
the basic premise is that the body does not have enough energy to hold up
organs such as the stomach, uterus, bladder, anus, etc. and thus they
fall/sink/prolapse. Varicose veins and hemorrhoids fall under the same
conceptual category. So if you have signs of prolapse along with symptoms of

low energy, lethargy, poor appetite, or weakness of the limbs, this herb could be
for you.
In Chinese Medicine our immune system is known as Protective Qi- or Wei Qi.
Wei Qi is largely supported by our Spleen* Qi. If there is a deficiency in Spleen*
Qi, the protective Qi will also be deficient leading to an increased risk of catching
frequent colds. Astragalus is one of the best herbs, along with Ginseng/Ren Shen
to help tonify and supplement Qi.

Who should AVOID Astragalus?


There are two main groups of people that should avoid taking Astragalus.
1. People who have an auto-immune disease or those who are taking drugs
that suppress the immune system. The herb has the complete opposite
effect and would thus exacerbate an auto-immune disorder or counteract
the medications to suppress the immune system. One of the most
common groups of drugs that suppress the immune system are
corticosteroids. Some auto-immune diseases include: rheumatoid
arthritis, lupus, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, Crohns disease,
psoriasis, and there are many more.
2. People, especially women, who have RISING signs: hot flashes, night
sweating, and those who anger or get irritable quickly and easily. Because
Astragalus has a rising nature as well, this can exacerbate those
symptoms.
3. While this herb is good at PREVENTING the common cold, it is generally
not suitable to TREAT the common cold. If you have already developed a
cold, stop taking this herb until the cold has completely gone.
If in doubt, please contact your R.TCMP or Doctor to see if Astragalus is safe for
you.
Huang Qi- or Astragalus is one of the best herbs for a struggling body system. It
is strong, it lifts things up, and helps boost the immune system. But at the same
time it can make hot flashes and night sweats worse, and it can have unwanted
effects on a hypersensitive immune system. If you have these conditions, it
would be best to speak with a Doctor or TCM Practitioner to see if Astragalus is
safe for you to take, and if not, which other herbs might be beneficial instead.