The perennial plant astragalus, or milk-vetch root, has sprawling stems and pale-yellow blooms. Western herbalists believe that substances known as polysaccharides in this herb stimulate the immune system and generally strengthen the body, speeding metabolism, promoting tissue regeneration, and increasing energy. In traditional Chinese medicine astragalus is regarded as sweet and slightly warm.
Over the counter:
Astragalus is available as prepared tea, fluidextract, capsules, dried root.
Combine 1 part honey, 4 parts dried root, and a small amount of water in a wok. Allow mixture to simmer until the water evaporates and the herbs are slightly brown.
Combinations: For spontaneous perspiration, astragalus is mixed with Asian ginseng. As an immune system stimulant, the herb is combined with siler. Blood abnormalities are treated with a mix of astragalus and dong quai. Herbalists combine astragalus and atractylodes (white) for diarrhea. Astragalus with rhubarb root and bupleurum is aimed at uterine disorders.
Tea: Boil 1 oz astragalus root in 1 cup of water for 15 to 20 minutes.