Post by Contributing Writer, Stacy
Coughing. Sneezing. Runny noses. Tissues. Door handles. Handshakes. Confined spaces.
What can we do in these situations to avoid illness?
Astragalus is thought to be one of the most effective herbs for building the immune system and increasing the body’s resistance to disease.
Also known as Huang Qi, astragalus is native to northeastern China (where it has been used medicinally for centuries).
In contrast to enchinacea, which is best taken at the first sign of a cold, astragalus is an excellent preventative herb and should be taken prior to the onset of illness.
Plane flights, playgroups, and holiday parties are perfect opportunities for astragalus to work its charm.
Astragalus is useful for more than cold and flu prevention and is often used to treat long-term illness or infection such as recurring flu, chronic colds and the Epstein-Barr virus. It is also helpful as a diuretic, digestive aid, and general energy booster.
Because of its ability to increase white blood cell production and enhance the function of T-cells, astragalus is a popular supportive herb during cancer treatment.
How to Take Astragalus
Fresh astragalus is not readily available in most areas of the United States, so purchasing the dried root is usually best. Astragalus is easily found in tincture or capsule form at most health food stores and online.
Dried astragalus root often comes in long sticks that resemble tongue depressors.
There are a number of effective ways to administer astragalus:
Tea – Simmer approximately four sticks of dried astragalus root in two cups of water for about 30 minutes. Strain and drink one cup, three times a day.
Soup – Add four or five sticks of dried root to a pot of soup and simmer for a few hours.
Capsule – General suggested dosage is usually one capsule, two to four times a day, depending on the amount of astragalus per capsule.
Tincture – For Adults – Usually 15-30 drops, three times a day.
For kids – Give a few drops of liquid glycerin astragalus extract in a glass of water or juice. Herbs for Kids makes a good astragalus tincture. General dosage is about ½ to 1 teaspoon, two or three times a day. Please check your particular brand for dosage instructions.
When to Avoid Astragalus
Astragalus is considered to safe for most people and most situations.
There is some debate as to its use for children experiencing fevers, but there is no definitive proof for avoiding it.
As always, please use caution when trying new herbs. Do you own research and consult a doctor or herbalist if necessary. The above is for informational purposes only and is a result of my own research.
Have you used astragalus? If so, how?
Stacy is wife to a preacher and mom to three busy children. She strives to live a healthy, happy life with God at the helm. Stacy writes about finding peace and joy at home, on her blog: Delighting in the Days.