Botanical Name: Astragalus membranaceus | Family: Fabaceae
Common name(s): Chinese Astragalus, Huang Qi, Milk Vetch
- Perennial; herbacious | Zones 4-11 | 3-4 feet | Pale yellow flowers (pea-flower shaped) from middle of the summer until frost
- Sun to partial shade | Dry, sandy soil
Harvest roots in the fall after plant is at least 2 years old. (Best 3rd-5th year, depending on where you live and how roots grow). Deep taproots. Slice and dry the root.
PREPARATION / DOSAGE
Decoction: Bring 2 tsp dried root to boil in 12 ounces water and simmer 20-30 minutes. Steep another 1/2 hour. Take up to 3 cups/day.
Tincture: (1:5) 40-80 drops, 3x/day
Constituents: polysaccharides, glucuronic acid, astragalosides, flavones, isoflavones
Actions: [glossary]Adaptogen[/glossary] (mild), [glossary]antibacterial[/glossary], [glossary]antioxidant[/glossary], [glossary]antiperspirant[/glossary], [glossary]antiviral[/glossary], [glossary]diuretic[/glossary], heart [glossary]tonic[/glossary], immune [glossary]tonic[/glossary], liver protector, vasodilator
Uses: Increases energy, builds resistance to disease, a tonic to the spleen, kidneys, lungs, and blood. Effective in fighting cancer – helps prevent immunosuppression caused by chemotherapy and inhibits tumors (work with a doctor). Used for anemia, relieving fluid retention, and reducing night sweats.
Combinations: Combine with Angelica sinensis for treating anemia
Cautions: Like any tonic herb, stop using when dealing with an acute infection, although its immune stimulation can help during a cold.
- Sweet, slightly warm, moist
- Homegrown Herbs, Tammi Hartung
- Adaptogens, David Winston and Steven Maimes
- Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, Andrew Chevallier
- The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra
- photo credit: Wikipedia
This will grow in my neck of the woods. Always excited to learn that about medicinal plants, especially tonic ones!