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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March 19th WHMonth: CHINESE HERBOLOGY - ASTRAGALUS

TO CELEBRATE WOMEN'S (HEALERS) HISTORY MONTH (WHM), during the month of March ~ in addition to my weekly postings ~ I will be making DAILY postings of time tested herbal and medicinal foods used from a Medicine Woman's bag, which holds many, many herbs, generating many, many formulas, as one herb used for a cold (mullein), when combined with totally different herbs, can be used as an antispasmodic for inflammation or as an expectorant to relieve asthma or general lung congestion.

This week will be dedicated to Chinese herbs. For the 30 years that I have traveled around the country treating health imbalances with herbs and teaching herb courses and workshops, Chinese herbs have always made up a very large percentage of my inventory, and the success I've had with the efficacy of Chinese herbs are unmatched.

Astragalus ( Huang Qi ) 黃耆


MEDICINAL PART: root
The root is often cut in long strips and thus often
referred to as 'tongue depressors.'

THERAPUTIC EFFECTS: immunitonic; cardiotonic; diuretic; controls profuse perspiration; lowers blood pressure; lowers blood sugar; improves circulation in flesh and skin.


INDICATIONS: immune deficiency; cancer; chronic fatigue; high blood pressure; prolapse of internal organs; diabetes; cold and weak limbs; colds and flu; bronchitis; hepatitis; adrenal deficiency.


INCOMPATIBLES: Chinemys reevesii (tortoise shell); opiates.

According to Chinese herbology, this herb enhances immunity by protecting the body from colds. It also stimulates production and circulation of immunological factors in the blood. 

Modern Chinese research has shown that astralagus helps the body resist virus infections, particularly in the lungs, by increasing production of interferon, an immune factor that inhibits viral growth.


Orally, Astragalus is used for treating the common cold and upper respiratory infections; to strengthen and regulate the immune system; and to increase the production of blood cells particularly in individuals with chronic degenerative disease or in individuals with cancer under going chemotherapy or radiation therapy. [I have a very strong formula that I've had great success with when used during this period.  If interested, please let me know. "theherbalist1750@gmail.com"]  It is also used orally for chronic nephritis and diabetes.  Astragalus is also used orally as an antibacterial and antiviral; a tonic; liver protectant; anti-inflammatory; antioxidant; and as a diuretic, vasodilator, or hypotensive agent.

I've used this herb for many years in many of my formulas.  It's efficacy is dependable and thorough. I ALWAYS use it along with Don Sen (tomorrow's featured herb) - together the herbs strengthen formulas and boost the body's strength and longevity and resistance to disease in general.  Astragalus is commonly used in combination with other herbs. For example, in combination with Ligustrum lucidum (glossy privet), astragalus is used orally fortreating breast cancercervical cancer, and lung cancer.


Topically, Astragalus is used as a vasodilator and to speed healing.

Astragalus ( Huang Qi ) 黃耆 Use Cautions:

There are many varieties of astragalus ( Huang Qi ) 黃耆. Some are toxic. The varieties used in Chinese herbal medicine is relatively safe but in rare cases it might cause rash.

Because of this herb's powerful enhancements of immune response, it is currently under study as a treatment for AIDS. AIDS patients show an unusually high count of T-suppressor cells, which impair immunity by suppressing activity of T-cells, one of the body's primary immune factors. Astralagus has been shown to significantly reduce the number of T-suppressor cells in cases of human immune deficiency.