The Wonderful Chinese Herb Huang qi (also known as Astragalus)

Huang qi (Astragalus) is one of the most important and commonly used  herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Astragalus is actually a genus of plant with over 2000 species. Its name,”Huang qi” means “yellow leader” it is a long yellow tap root with many uses. Well known in China for it’s ability to boost immunity. This makes it a great herb for fall. Huang qi helps prevent colds, allergies and the flu.

Astragalus is deservedly popular because it helps the body in a variety of ways. It stimulates the immune system so it is often used for treating the common cold and upper respiratory infections.

Astragalus strengthens the body during periods of immune deficiency and is effective with allergies and in avoidance of the white blood cell deficiencies (leukopenia) that occur during chemotherapy.

It also fights bacteria, viruses, and inflammation; it protects the liver, acts as a diuretic, benefits digestive functions, and treats disorders of the skin from burns to carbuncles. Huang qi is used in the treatment of hepatitis, chronic colitis, cardiovascular diseases and viral conditions.

Finally, Astragalus can be used to promote the functions of several other herbs, such as Dan Shen (Salvia) and Dang Gui (Angelica sinensis root).

Astragalus can also used by itself, usually as a liquid extract, or a tea, Dosage depends on the application and form.

This herb can be added to soups and stews while they cook, providing additional health benefits to the meal. When I was in Graduate school some of my professors would put Huang Qi in the chicken stock when they made chicken soup.

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