Huang qi (Radix Astragali Membranaceus) is more commonly known as astragalus root. In Western Medicine, it is known to boost a weakened immune system. If you are susceptible to colds, allergies, or the flu, huang qi could be a good herb to take as a preventative medicine to strengthen the immune system.
In Chinese Medicine, huang qi enters the Lung and Spleen meridians. One of the main indications of this herb is to boost the wei qi, often compared to the immune system in Western Medicine. Sweating is a common symptom of a weakened immune system, and huang qi is good for securing the wei qi and stopping spontaneous sweating. Inflammation occurs when the body is under attack from foreign substances and creates a histamine response in the body. As a result, congestion and sometimes edema occur, especially with allergies. Huang qi also acts as a diuretic to reduce edema.
Huang qi can be taken in pill, tea, tincture, or in powdered form in a formula. It is best taken when prescribed by an herbalist or health care practitioner. Many stores sell astragalus, but herbal medicine is not well-regulated by the FDA, so the product may contain fillers, dyes, artificial ingredients and sometimes not even the herb itself. When you consult with a qualified herbalist, their products are generally pharmaceutical-grade, certified to be potent and without adulteration.
Many people use medications such as anti-histamines, decongestants, and steroids to get relief from symptoms of a weakened immune system. Some of these medications may provide short-term relief, but come with side effects that ultimately weaken the body. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can provide relief as well as long-term benefits of strengthening the body.
Disclaimer: For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Always check with your health care practitioner to determine what is appropriate for you to take according to your medical history and diagnosis.