HUANG QI - 黄芪 | Astragalus Root | Safety & Side Effects

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The Truth About Astragalus Root

HUANG QI, Milk Vetch root, astragalus membranaceus

Japanese name: Ogi 

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

Taste: Sweet Nature: Warming, Extremely safe
  • Benefits the QI
  • Lifts the YANG,
  • Strengthens the Spleen/ (digestion),
  • Tonifies the WEI QI (defensive energy

    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.


    * These statements have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Pregnant or nursing women should consult their health care provider before taking any supplement.


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