Astragalus (Huang Qi)

What is Astragalus?

Astragalus (Huang Qi) has been used in China since the 2nd century, and has spread around the globe since then. It is now considered in the West, as one of the foremost immunostimulant herbs, used especially during the months preceding cold and flu season. It’s ability to increase white blood cells and multinuclear leukocytes is well documented, as is its ability to lower risk of infection, inhibit bacterial activity (especially Diplococcus pneumoniae and Stphylococcus aureus), and prevent upper respiratory tract infections in children1)Chen, John K., Ph.D, PharmD, OMD, LAc. 2012. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry: Art of Medicine Press, Inc.. A post-chemotherapy injection of 100mg daily is given to most cancer patients in China as a means to rebuild a patient’s immune system.2)Sperber, Dr. Greg. 2014. Integrated Pharmacology: Combining Modern Pharmacology with Chinese Medicine. Boulder, CO: Blue Poppy Press

How Do I Use Astragalus?

While Chinese herbalists use Huang Qi in different forms for reasons beyond those listed above, a typical Western application is dosed orally through capsule form. 3 capsules taken away from meals 2 times daily is typically adequate for immunostimulant purposes prior to cold and flu season. Because this herb builds the immune system gradually, it should be taken regularly, approximately 1 – 2 months prior to peak cold and flu season. If you become sick, discontinue its use for the duration of your illness and reinstate after the bacteria/virus is completely cleared.

What Else Do I Need To know?

Individuals who suffer from autoimmune conditions should avoid taking Astragalus (Huang Qi) at all times as it can exacerbate an already hyperactive immune system. Additionally, individuals taking immunosuppressants (ie. Prednisone, corticosteroids, etc.), Lithium, or amino glycoside antibiotics should refrain from its consumption.3)Chen, John K., Ph.D, PharmD, OMD, LAc. 2012. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry: Art of Medicine Press, Inc.

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References   [ + ]

1, 3.Chen, John K., Ph.D, PharmD, OMD, LAc. 2012. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry: Art of Medicine Press, Inc.
2.Sperber, Dr. Greg. 2014. Integrated Pharmacology: Combining Modern Pharmacology with Chinese Medicine. Boulder, CO: Blue Poppy Press