HUANG QI - 黄芪 | Astragalus Root | Safety & Side Effects
The Truth About Astragalus Root
HUANG QI, Milk Vetch root, astragalus membranaceus
Origin of Huang Qi
In the Essentials of the Materia Medica (1694 AD), ASTRAGALUS (Huang qi) was called "the senior of all herbs"..
Properties of Huang Qi
Research has shown it to lower blood pressure and increase endurance. This herb is recognized for increasing the body's resistance and is now considered one of the world's greatest immune tonics
Uses of HUANG QI
The idea of an "immune system" has only recently been accepted by Western medicine. Chinese medicine doctors, on the other hand, have been dealing with the WEI QI (defensive energy) for thousands of years.
HUANG QI (astragalus) has always been a key herb in strengthening the WEI QI. It tonifies the Spleen, Stomach, QI and Blood, and Benefits the WEI QI (immune system). Research has shown it to increase endurance and immunity. This herb is recognized for increasing the body's resistance and is now considered one of the world's greatest immune tonics.
Huang Qi in Combination
Astragalus root has seven different known functions. The following combinations illustrate this point:
Astragalus + Ginseng (REN SHEN) - to benefit the Qi and enhance immunity. Particularly when weak Qi results in shortness of breath, fatigue, low appetite.
Astragalus + Cicumfuaga (SHENG MA) and/or Bupleurum (CHAI HU) - for prolapse (falling down) of the organs due to weakening of the Qi's lifting quality. Examples of prolapse are hernia, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, uterine and anal prolapse.
Astragalus (HUANG QI) + Ledbouriella (FANG FENG) - for spontaneous or exessive sweating due to weak protective Qi. This combination is the basis of the immune supporting Jade Screen or Jade Shield Pills
Astragalus (HUANG QI) + Stephania (FANG JI) - for edema in the upper body.
Astragalus (HUANG QI) + Cinnamon branches (GUI ZHI) - for pain and/or numbness due to low qi.
Astragalus (HUANG QI) + Oyster shell (Mu Li) - for night sweats caused by deficient Yin and Qi.
Astragalus (HUANG QI) + Dioscorea (SHAN YAO) - for diabetes.
Astragalus Safety and Side Effects
Astragalus root is considered a grade 1 herb, meaning that it is one of the safest herbs. Its only restrictions are, that it be used cautiously in people with known YIN deficiency with heat patterns. It should also not be used during a cold, flu, or similar disease, as astragalus could prolong these conditions. If you have a cold or similar acute respiratory condition, stop taking astragalus until the cold has passed.
Note that Astragalus Seed (SHA YUAN JI LI) is totally different from Astragalus Root (HUANG QI). Astragalus seed is classified as an astringent and is used to astringe the Kidney Essence, and is used for low back pain and premature ejaculation.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is powerful and reliable, but it can be complex. As TCM is not based on symptoms alone, self-diagnosis and self-treatment aren't recommended. Best to start a low cost online-herbal-consultation.