Botanical name: Astragalus membranaceus
Other names: Milkvetch, locoweed, goat’s-thorn
Astragalus root is used in both traditional Chinese and Western herbalism as an immune tonic. Modern research has examined astragalus’ benefit to specific and nonspecific immunity. This herb stimulates the body’s immune action against viruses, has a mild antibiotic action and increases the activity of white blood cells. These properties make it a relevant herb for recurring colds, debilitating viral infections and chronic illnesses such as glandular fever, chronic fatigue syndrome and Ross River and AIDS. Further research shows that it is a safe and useful adjunct to chemotherapy, reducing side effects of the medication.
Astragalus root may also strengthen digestion, raise metabolism, and assist in the healing of wounds. It has been found to be useful for chronically weak lungs and low energy levels.
Preparation: 2-4 teaspoons per cup, simmer 15 minutes, take 3 times daily.
Reference: David Hoffman (2003), Medical Herbalism, pp. 532, WEI Jian-an, SUN Li-min, CHEN Yu-xia, et al Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medicine Sciences, Beijing (100053);Effects of Ailing Granule on Immuno-reconstruction in HIV/AIDS Patients[J];Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astragalus
Astragalus Common Uses
Traditional use of astragalus suggests that it should not be taken during an infection, but rather to prevent recurring infections. As an immune stimulant, astragalus can interfere with immunosuppressive drugs (eg cyclophosphamide). Only take under supervision of a professional herbalist or doctor if you are taking immunosuppressive medication.
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