Information on Astragalus

Latin NameAstragalus membranaceus
Other NamesMilk vetch, huangqi
Part UsedRoot
Herb FormsCapsules, tablets, tinctures, bulk herb for teas.
AffectsDigestive system, Immune system
CautionsDo not take during acute Infections.
Botanical InfoA perennial member of the pea family with small yellow flowers in elongated spikes.
DescriptionKnown in China as a 'Qi' tonic, astragalus is one of the most beneficial immune tonics and cancer-fighting herbs. It increases the body's resistance to disease, strengthens the digestion, and improves the vitality of the immune system. Astragalus increases the 'bone marrow reserve', enabling the body to produce more immune effector cells {such as t-cells}, aiding the immune system in its fight against pathogens. In China, health practitioners prescribe astragalus as a daily tonic. Astragalus is often blended with other immune tonics such as ligustrum.

Astragalus has a taste of SWEET and a temperature of WARM.


Decoction1 cup 2-3 x daily
Powdered Extract2 capsules 2-3 x daily

Ailments Treated by Astragalus

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Spleen tonicdigestive tonictea, tincture, tablet, capsule
Immune deficiencyimmune toniccapsules, tea
Cancerimmune toniccapsules, tea
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)immune toniccapsules, tea


Leung, A. and S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Bensky, D. and A. Gamble. 1986. Chinese Herbal Medicine. Seattle: Eastland Press.