Astragalus – Astragalus membranaceus (Root)
Actions: Adaptogen, antioxidant, antiviral, cardiotonic, hepatic, hypotensive, immunomodulator, kidney tonic
Energetics: Slightly warming & moistening
Use: Astragalus is perhaps the most well-known of the immunomodulant herbs, and has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to strengthen and restore vitality. It is now frequently being used in Western herbalism to support both innate and acquired immunity and to boost deficient white and red blood cell counts
It’s an excellent choice for promoting overall resistance, rebuilding reserves during convalescence, and supporting a depleted individual with low immune function; it can also help shift from immune hyperreactivity to a more normalized response, making it useful in long-term management of allergies and other reactive inflammatory conditions.
Astragalus also has a protective effect on the liver, making it useful as a support during some types of drug therapy to help minimize side effects. It’s also often used alongside chemotherapy drugs, particularly in modern Chinese protocols, and multiple trials have shown that use of Astragalus-based herbal formulas can increase the effectiveness of some types of chemotherapy while reducing their side effects.
Safety: Astragalus may increase the effects of corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide in individuals with autoimmune disease.
Dose: Decoction: 9-30g dried root/day divided into 1-3 doses; Tincture: 2-4mL for 2x/day