Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)
Taste: Sweet, mild, slightly salt
UPS Status: None
Energetics: Warm, Moist, Tonifying
|Common Names||Membranous milk-vetch root, Huang Qi, Astragalus, Mongolian milkvetch, Yellow vetch, Yellow leader, Huang Chi/Qi, Bok Kay, Bei Qi (Mandarin), Ogi (Japanese)|
|Herbal Friends/Pairs||Licorice, Ashwagandha, Codonopsis, Chaga, Reishi, Turkey Tail, Schisandra, Elder, Echinacea, Panax Ginseng, Withania Root, Ligustrum, Privet, Reishi, Goldenseal|
|Affinities||Endocrine System, Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal System, Immune System, Respiratory System, Genitourinary System|
|Notable Constituents||Quercetin, Caffeic & Cholorgenic Acids, Kumatakenin, Formononetin, Asparagine, Astragalin, Astragalosides, Saponins, Polysaccharides, Isoflavones, Glycosides. Polysaccharides (High Molecular Weight), Triterpenoid Saponin Glycoside (Astragalosides I-Vii), Flavonoid Glycosides And Aglycones, Phenolics, Phytosterols, And Essential Oil. Amino Acids (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, Canavanine) are also present|
|Herbal Actions||Immune Trophorestorative, Nutritive, Mucilaginous Expectorant, Hepatic, Cardiovascular Tonic, Alterative, Adrenal Tonic, Adaptogen, Hypoglycemic, Vasodilator, Antioxidant, Diuretic, Hepatoprotective, Hypotensive, Respiratory Tonic/Trophorestorative|
|Preparation Methods||tincture, decoction, and powder|
- An immune-building herb that supports the adrenals, astragalus has long been known to support healthy immune function and appropriate response to stress.
- Immune-supportive, moistening, and expectorant, astragalus is particularly appropriate for warding off viruses like cold and flu which live in respiratory tissue.
- Astragalus is helpful when we need to “lock down the periphery” – it helps to close the pores, protecting from “outside invasions” of opportunistic infections.
- An important PREVENTATIVE herb during cold and flu season.
- As a mild adrenal tonic and restorative adaptogen, astragalus is particularly nice for preventing opportunistic infections from gaining a foothold when stress levels are high. When we are under stress, our immune function goes down significantly; astragalus helps us to maintain effective defenses.
- Astragalus also supports assimilation, and provides nutrition that stimulates the production of new blood cells, giving this herb a significant cardiovascular tonic action.
- Powdered, dried root or as a decoction in the dosage range 10 to 30 g per day.
- The adult dosage is 4 to 8 mL per day (30 to 60 mL per week) of the 1:2 fluid extract.
- Tincture: 40-50% alcohol for the dried plant. 1:2-1:3
- Strong decoction add 20-25% alcohol
- Astragalus will reduce the effectiveness of immune-suppressing medications, and should not be taken concurrently with these drugs.
- Astragalus is contraindicated for those with acute infections. Those with autoimmune conditions should speak with their healthcare provider before using astragalus, as it may stimulate immune function. Similarly, it may also interfere with drugs that are meant to suppress the immune system.
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Native Range: China, North Korea, and Mongolia; can be found in America, Europe, and other parts of Asia.
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 3 ft
Spread: 12 to 15 inches
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Yellow-white
Sun: Full sun to partial shade
Soil: Well-drained sandy loam, neutral to alkaline pH
Common Look-A-Likes: None found
Harvest Time: Spring or Fall; yr 4 or 5
Sustainability: No information was found
Environmental Connection: No information was found
- Holistic Herbalism Materia Medica. CommonWealth Holistic Herbalism. Https://online.commonwealthherbs.com/courses/materia-medica.
- Bone, K., & Morgan, M. (1999). Astragalus membranaceus – Astragalus. MediHerb Professional Review, (67), 2.
- Popham, S. (2020). Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus). The School of Evolutionary Herbalism. Https://www.evolutionaryherbalism.com/.
- Immunotonic herbs. IVC Journal. (2015, April 13). Https://ivcjournal.com/immunotonic-herbs/.
- Whelan, R. (n.d.). ASTRAGALUS. Richard Whelan ~ Medical Herbalist ~ Astragalus. Https://www.rjwhelan.co.nz/herbs%20A-Z/astragalus.html.
- Miller, L. (2020, April 24). Astragalus Root Use: How To Grow Astragalus Herb Plants. Gardening How To. Https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/astragalus/astragalus-herb-plants.htm.
- Thompson, K. (n.d.). Astragalus monograph. HerbRally. Https://www.herbrally.com/monographs/astragalus.