What is Astragalus?
Alternate Names: Huang Qi, Bei Qi, Hwanggi, Membranous Milk Vetch
Astragalus is a plant native to China. The Chinese name of the herb, huang qi, means “yellow leader”, because the root is yellow and it is one of the most important herbs in Chinese medicine. The part of the plant used medicinally is the root.
Why People Use Astragalus
Astragalus is used in Chinese medicine for night sweats, deficiency of vital energy, and diarrhea.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Immune-stimulant, anti-viral
- Prevention of colds and flu
A typical dose is 9 to 12 grams of the root per day. It is usually made in a decoction – the roots are boiled in water then removed. Astragalus can also be found in supplement form.
People with autoimmune disease should not use astragalus. It should not be used pre- or post-surgery because it can increase the risk of bleeding. Astragalus may interact with blood thinning drugs, such as warfarin.