ASTRAGALUS for IMMUNE SUPPORT: Ward off Winter Infections with Huang Qi, the “Yellow Leader”
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on March 10, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Astragalus, also known as Huang Qi or “Yellow Leader,” is one of the premier herbs of the Orient for strengthening the immune system. Huang, which means yellow, is a color associated with strength and defense, such as the defensive capabilities of our immune system. Qi means energy or leader, signifying its important role in supporting the energy of the body, a function of the immune system.
Astragalus is an immune system ‘modulator,’ rather than an immune ‘stimulant’; thus, it can help to balance either an under- or over-active immune system. This makes Astragalus ideal for long-term use for a number of immune system conditions, including immunodeficiency and certain autoimmune states.
Astragalus is especially useful for strengthening the lungs (to ward off respiratory infections) and for night sweats arising from immune deficiency. It is used extensively in Traditional Chinese Medicine for chemotherapy support.
According to research, studies confirm its immunostimulant, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, adaptogenic, liver-protecting, and diuretic effects. It is also renowned for building stamina and increasing endurance.
Astragalus also does double-duty in your kitchen! Add the sliced dried root (which resemble throat depressor sticks, like in the picture) to soups and stews as they simmer, to provide nourishing immune support to your hearty winter dishes.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan