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Astragalus propinquus (Huang Qi) or milk vetch has been a foundational herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years. It is included in formulas to support Wei Qi (Chi), or the conceptual “shield” which serves as a primary defense mechanism against pernicious threats to the system. Sweet and nourishing, Astragalus is often included in recipes for soups, which are used for convalescence and general strengthening of the system. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Astragalus is said to tonify the “spleen” and hence is used for fatigue linked to decreased appetite. Astragalus is part of the Milk Vetch or Fabaceae family. Astragalus herb is traditionally used in its dried powdered form or as a strong decoction, made from boiling the dried root in water for an extended period. Astragalus has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Its main use has been to boost the body's immune system. But it also has been used to treat other conditions, including heart disease. That raises the question of exactly what heart benefits astragalus might offer.
It has antioxidant effects that inhibit free radical production. In the body, free radicals damage cells and are linked to many health problems associated with aging. There is, though, no known way to stop free radicals completely.
And if it does offer heart benefits, are there side effects you should know about? Who should and who shouldn't use astragalus?
Possible side effects include:
- Very high doses may suppress the immune system. So you should avoid using astragalus if you are taking immune-suppressing drugs.
- Pregnant or nursing women should not use astragalus root.
- If you have an immune system disease such as multiple sclerosis, lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis, or another condition known as an "autoimmune disease," you should not use astragalus root.
As with any herbal supplement, always check with your health care provider before taking astragalus root.
As always make sure you are using organic herbs as pesticides are toxic and always take normal doses, excessive amounts of anything is not good for you.
We are not doctors, lawyers, accountants or your mom. We give out free smiles and the occasional unsolicited advice. That being said; if you are pregnant, nursing or concerned about your health, call your mom. Or even better, consult a doctors before consuming; particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.