Stay Healthy & Strong
Astragalus (Huang Qi) is an absolutely amazing herb for its myriad of incredible benefits. in TICM, it is used to raise energy, tonify energy or any energy related issues, it is a multi-function herb. It is a herb I prescribe in almost every formula especially to everyone to keep their immune function as strong as possible. I use it to steep in my tea, soups and broths.
Actions are to reinforce energy (Qi) and strengthen the immune system, anti-aging, increase body energy, fight cancer cells, resist radiation and help fight the side effects of cancer treatment, and promote the growth of new tissue.
Indications are loose stool due to Spleen deficiency, chronic diarrhoea, prolapse of rectum and other organs, hematochezi, abdominal uterine bleeding, spontaneous sweating due to energy deficiency, oedema, abscesses difficult to heal, anaemia, albuminuria in chronic nephritis, diabetes and so much more.
Why is it so great? There are 2 chemical compounds found in astragalus, namely, polysaccharides and saponins that are credited with many of the health benefits provided by the herb. Extensive research and clinical studies in China have shown that these compounds may play an important role in preventing and treating diseases such as aplastic anaemia, cancer, genital herpes, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, AIDS, lupus, oral herpes, flu and respiratory infections.
The most exciting development surrounding the benefits of astragalus are that scientists have been able to extract 2 powerful molecules from the astragalus root, cycloastragenols and astragalosides, that have been shown to activate the production of the enzyme telomerase, which maintains healthy telomeres and consequently extends human life. Telomeres are the caps that protect the chromosomes. They are the part of the chromosome that governs aging. Every time the cells of the body divide, the telomeres get shorter and aging sets in.
The 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to scientists Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak, who co-discovered telomerase, the enzyme that re-builds the telomere. They found that when they reignite the production of telomerase, telomere shortening is prevented and oftentimes, telomeres even lengthen, thereby causing cells to age in reverse.
Astragalus root is available from Chinese/Asian grocery stores, TICM doctors who are registered and my dispensary. I also do a liquid extract (not tinctures so no alcohol). Below is a picture what astragalus looks like,