Astragalus Root (Astragalus membranaceus) variously known as Milk Vetch, Goat’s Thorn and, in the Orient, Huang-qi is used to treat people who have a weak immune system, heart disease, to decrease side effects for those undergoing cancer chemotherapy, and to increase overall energy.
It is a native of China and Mongolia where it has a long and venerated history of medicinal usage and many regard it as they would Ginseng, using it as a general tonic to improve vitality and energy but its traditional uses are somewhat different:-
Traditional Uses for Astragalus :-
It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic (helps eliminate fluid from the body) properties. It is sometimes used topically for wounds. In addition, studies have shown that Astragalus Root has antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system, suggesting that it is effective at preventing colds. ( In the editors view – no more so than Echinacea ) but it is what it is most used for these days, nevertheless.
In the United States of America, researchers have investigated Astragalus as a possible treatment for people whose immune systems have been compromised by chemotherapy or radiation. In these studies, Astragalus supplements have been shown to speed recovery and extend life expectancy. Research on using Astragalus for people with AIDS has produced inconclusive results though. The research continues.
More recent research in China indicates that Astragalus may offer antioxidant benefits to people with severe forms of heart disease, relieving symptoms and improving heart function. At low to moderate doses, Astragalus has few side effects, although it does interact with a number of other herbs and prescription medications.
Making an infusion of Astragalus Root Tea:-
to make an infusion (strong boiled tea): Mix 3 teaspoons of dried root per drinkable measure of water, simmer for around ten minutes, strain and take three times per day.