Astragalus – Health Benefits, Uses, Research, Preparation, Precautions


Astragalus – Health Benefits, Uses, Research, Preparation, Precautions

There are over two thousand varieties of astragalus in the world. Astragalus membranaceus is a safe, medicinally active variety which has been used for millennia by traditional Chinese medical practitioners. Other varieties of astragalus are primarily used for landscaping.

Astragalus offers many benefits. It is one of the best herbs available to enhance immunity and protect cardiovascular health.


This article on astragalus was written for by Patricia Bratianu RN PhD RH-AHG. Find out more about her at the end of this article.

Common Names

Vetch, huang chi, huang qi, (astragalus membranaceus)

Traditional and Modern Health Uses of Astragalus

Astragalus is considered to be a superior tonic by traditional Chinese practitioners. Its name refers to its reputation as a leader, or vital force.

Traditional uses include enhancing longevity, increasing vitality and promoting general wellness. Throughout the ages, practitioners have used astragalus to support the Chinese spleen meridian, and to relieve prolapses of the uterus, bladder, and rectum. Other time honored uses of astragalus include employing the herb as a diuretic, immune booster, and remedy for lung problems. Astragalus was traditionally used as a remedy for impotence and as an aphrodisiac. These traditional practices are backed up by current herbalists and research.

Astragalus is often touted as a natural preventative and remedy for influenza. Famous physician and author Andrew Weil MD recommends that astragalus be taken regularly during flu season.

Currently, astragalus is used for the treatment of ulcers, diabetes, cancer, respiratory infections and heart disease. It relieves shortness of breath and promotes the healing of ulcers. Astragalus is beneficial for the treatment of general debility and weakness. The herb is employed to support people who suffer from AIDS.

I had cancer a couple of decades ago. A friend made me a rich, concentrated soup which I ate daily while I received conventional treatments for cancer. One of the primary ingredients of the slowly cooked soup was astragalus. My reason for including astragalus in my wellness plan was to improve my immunity, and relieve exhaustion.

Research supports the use of astragalus as an adjunct for the treatment of cancer and other debilitating conditions. Astragalus helps the body to tolerate chemotherapy and radiation treatments with less fatigue and improved blood cell counts. Immunity improves. In China, astragalus is a component of fu-zheng therapy, which is routinely employed for people suffering from cancer.

Current Research about the Healing Benefits of Astragalus

Astragalus has been studied extensively. Recent studies have documented that astragalus is effective for treating a wide array of health conditions. Studies include research about astragalus and its benefits for children‘s respiratory ills, seasonal allergies and as a preventative for influenza.

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