You may never have heard of the Chinese herb “huang qi”, but it’s name translates as “yellow leader” and its root is considered one of the most important botanicals in Chinese medicine. In the West this plant is known by its Latin name, Astragalus membranaceus (or just astragalus) and is now being included in many supplements marketed as “immune support”. Could astragalus help you? What are the potential benefits of this “yellow leader” for modern populations ?
One of the most common uses for astragalus is to improve immune function. Your immune system is responsible for protecting your body from harmful viruses, bacteria, and other dangerous invaders. There is some evidence that this root may increase the production of white blood cells, your body’s warriors that kill harmful invaders. In China the yellow root has long been used to both ward off and treat infections, particularly the viral type!
Astragalus has also demonstrated clinical use in reducing the side effects of chemotherapy. Studies indicate that astragalus can reduce nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and diarrhea associated with chemotherapy treatments. It is also very effective in treating chemo related fatigue and brain fog.
Other potential benefits of astragalus are improved blood flow to the kidneys, reduction in seasonal allergies, and improved blood sugar control. More research is needed to confirm these other benefits and the impact of this plant-based medicine on other drugs and supplements.
Do some of these potential benefits appeal to you?
Astragalus supplements are found in many different forms including capsules, liquid extracts, and powder for brewing a cup of tea. Most people tolerate astragalus well but the herb should be used under the care of a doctor of oriental medicine. Some reported side effects are rashes, diarrhea, irregular heartbeats, and complications for patients with autoimmune disorders.
Here at Integrative Health Partners Dr. Hendry is certified in “Chinese Herbal Medicine” and thus well qualified to help you determine whether astragalus would be an appropriate addition to your supplement plan. More importantly he can help you to design a supplement plan that is tailored to your needs. Come in and learn more about this important herb and many other herbal remedies!