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Astragalus membranaceous

Astragalus is native to Northern China and the elevated regions of the Chinese provinces. The Chinese name huang qi translates as "yellow leader," referring to the yellow color of the root and its status as one of the most important tonic herbs. Traditional Chinese Medicine used this herb for night sweats, deficiency of chi (e.g., fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite), and diarrhea.


400mg one to three times daily. Higher levels may be required in supporting certain cases.

Potential applications

The herb has been used for respiratory infections, immune depression, cancer, heart failure, viral infections e.g. herpes simplex, liver and kidney disease such as nephritis, and as a diuretic. In Chinese medicine astragalus has been used alone and in combination for liver fibrosis, acute viral myocarditis, heart failure, lung cancer, and amenorrhea.

Known contraindications

Caution should be taken with transplant patients and those with autoimmune disorders.


Astragalus exerts fibrinolytic effects and so patients taking anticoagulants, antiplatelet, or anti-thrombotic agents should consult their physician.

Use in conjunction with

  • Immune support - Echinacea, Vitamin C, E, Zinc, Beta carotene
  • Stress - B complex, liquorice, vitamin C, Cal/mag/zinc


Echinacea and Astragalus both exert broad spectrum effects on the immune system through slightly different mechanisms and are in many ways the prototypes for hundreds of immune supportive plants.


© Cheryl Thallon at Viridian

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