How To Use This Multitasking Herb For Better Health

Astragalus, which refers to a large genus of more than 3,000 species of ancient herbs and small shrubs, belonging to the legume family Fabaceae, has been valued for its many medicinal and therapeutic applications for centuries. In fact, it’s so beneficial that acupuncturist Jeiran Lashai, DOAM, L.Ac. of the Angels. calls it his “desert island Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM] herb” because she appreciates it very much in her practice and in her life.

Do you want to know more about this discreet but essential plant for professionals? Read on to discover the traditional and science-backed uses and benefits of astragalus, as well as two ways to incorporate it into your own wellness routine.

Benefits and uses of astragalus

Herbal astragalus is made from the root of the astragalus plant, which is native to parts of Asia. In TCM, astragalus is known as Huang Qi, and Lashai says that it is used for a wide variety of medicinal purposes. “It’s in a category called ‘qi-tonifying herbs,'” says Lashai. “It’s it really helps most of the base layers of the body to recover or function better.” In Western herbology, it is classified as an adaptogen.

Most commonly, says Rachelle Robinett, Registered Herbalist, AHG & Supernatural Founder, it is used for its ability to support the immune system. “Astragalus is considered an ‘immunological amphoteric,’ meaning that it helps normalize the function of the immune system, not suppressing or overstimulating it, but rather encouraging it to function optimally,” she says. “It is traditionally used for immunosuppressive and immunological excess conditions, such as allergies.” According to Lashai, astragalus also increases white blood cell counts (thereby boosting immunity). “It has been shown to help the immune system with colds and flu, and have antibiotic effects towards certain bacteria.

Astragalus is also hematopoietic, Lashai says, meaning it can also increase your red blood cell count. Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and carbon dioxide from the rest of the body to the lungs. Additionally, astragalus is antihypertensive, she says, because it has been shown to dilate peripheral blood vessels. This means that it may have a protective effect against high blood pressure.

The herb is also known to benefit the liver. “Because astragalus has hepatoprotective effects, it is often used in the treatment of hepatitis and in many hangover-cure formulas,” says Lashai. Additionally, it can be used for kidney support, bone health, and as an anti-inflammatory, adds Robinett.

Both herbalists note that astragalus has also been shown to help inhibit tumor growth and is often used in traditional Chinese medicine as an herbal support in conjunction with cancer treatments.

Finally, Lashai says that many TCM practitioners she knows drink it in their tea to take advantage of its traditional use for longevity, and preliminary research shows that it can help lengthen telomeres, which are an essential part of human cells that affect the way our cells age. . Lashai also uses astragalus in her fertility formulas, often adding it to a formula if a patient has diarrhea, fatigue or anemia.

How to incorporate astragalus into your diet and wellness routine

As mentioned, Lashai recommends dropping a few pieces of raw astragalus directly into your tea or other hot beverage, just as you would reishi or other adaptogenic herbs. “Using it daily in your tea-drinking routine would be fine,” she says. “But if you’re trying to take it for a medical reason, always consult a Chinese medicine doctor because there are different forms and different extracts that may be preferable for your condition. According to Robinett, you can also find astragalus as a powder, capsule, or tincture.

astragalus recipes

You can also cook with astragalus, says Robinett. “Astragalus root can be simmered for a long time in teas, soups, broths, and other recipes,” she says. Here are two delicious ways to try it:

1. Adaptogenic Herbs + Anti-Stress Tea

While you can simply brew astragalus in water for a tea, as recommended by Lashai, this recipe gives that staple drink an extra kick. In addition to astragalus, it contains adaptogenic ashwagandha, reishi, cordyceps, ginseng, and licorice.

two. vegan bone broth

While she doesn’t specifically mention astragalus in this video, Robinett says you can easily use it as your adaptogen of choice in this nourishing vegan broth.

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