Astragalus has the ability to spark movement within the body - it revives stagnant areas for optimal flow and efficiency.
Astragalus has been consumed for thousands of years as an immune system herb. It holds a protective energy that sharpens the defence reaction in the body.
Astragalus is a premium adaptogenic herb, it allows the user to become more resilient to change. It supports the lungs, nourishes the blood, and cleanses the skin of toxins.
First documented in Shen Nong's Classic of Herbal Medicine around 200 BC.
Between the middle of the 5th and 8th centuries, two famous herbalists Tao Hongjing and Su Jing both noted the shift in astragalus' natural habitat from Gansu and Sichuan to Ningxia and Shanxi. It is unclear why this happened.
It increased in popularity during the Song dynasty (960-1279). Commonly used as a tea or as an ingredient in cooking.
Also used as a folk remedy in Europe, Arabia and America. It is first documented in Europe during the 18th century.
The Chinese name Huang Qi can be written in two different ways. The most common way is 黄芪 the first character means “yellow” (the colour of the roots) and the second “astragalus”. The alternative characters are 黄耆 meaning “yellow” and “a man over 60 or 70” or “elderly” with the overtones of wisdom and respect. It has sometimes been translated as “Yellow Leader”.
A kind of latex called tragacanth is released when you cut the bark. This was used as a folk medicine for tumours especially of the eyes, liver and throat.
Native Americans chewed the root or brewed it into a tea. It was used to prevent fever, back pain, cough and applied to cuts and dermatitis to aid healing and prevent infection.
Nursing women chewed the root to help stimulate milk production.
One of “50 Fundamental Herbs of TCM”
Straddles the boundary between medicine and food. It is a common ingredient in soups and congee. Recommended for regular use.
Roots four years of age or more are dug in spring or autumn.
Sweet in flavour, slightly warm in nature. Enters Spleen and Lung meridians.
Invigorates qi and yang, especially Spleen and Lung qi.
Treats Lung deficiency, stops cough and relieves shortness of breath. Stops spontaneous sweating.
Nourishes the centre and supports the Stomach and Spleen. Relieves diarrhoea and elevates yang to prevent prolapse.
Having sufficient Lung and Spleen qi means having strong wei (defensive) qi and helps fight against exterior pathogens.
Having sufficient qi also means good circulation of blood and water. There is a saying in TCM:
“where qi goes, blood follows”
Qi is the yang aspect allowing movement within the channels and blood is the yin providing nourishment to the organs.
Astragalus can therefore treat blood stasis, haemorrhage, paleness due to blood deficiency and anaemia, oedema, skin disease and promote healing.
trace elements, especially selenium
Research has shown improves non-specific immunity by increasing T-lymphocyte function. Improves cardiac function, acts as a vaso-dilator, rapidly reduces blood pressure, induces diuresis, improves renal function, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, ant-ageing.
Those taking the blood thinner warfarin and some beta blockers should take care.
Longxi is known for its superior quality Astragalus. It is considered the birthplace and the ‘hometown’ of Astragalus. The climate is cold and damp, providing the perfect conditions for its healthy growth. Astragalus found in this region has a sweeter flavour than others on the market.
“All of our Astragalus is semi-wild cultivated from Longxi, Gansu Province, China.”
Gansu is a semi-arid region with a unique climate. It is cool and dry and receives strong sunlight all year round.
The terrain is made up of hills and ravines and one prominent feature is the upper end of the Yellow River.
Being on the Silk Road, Gansu has a unique blend of cultures including Kazak, Mongolian, Manchu, Tibetan and several Chinese ethnic minorities.
Known as “China's Astragalus Township”
2408 square kilometres in area.
Primary industry is agriculture and it is a huge producer of medicinal herbs. The local government subsidises farmers to standardise their growing processes and keep the area pollution-free.