Astragalus and Immune Health

Astragalus membranaceus is a sweet tonic herb that is slightly warming where we use the roots to prepare a wonderful tincture or decoction, not an infusion. I use it as a powder too. Personally, I almost always use it in blends because that’s where the magic happens. 

An amazing herb once you get to know her, she is rich in Polysaccharides (basically the main nutrient that feeds our bodies) and most well-known for supporting & increasing the strength of T-cell’s & functions. T-Cells – the WBC that attack invaders – also known as “Killer cells”. Astragalus is known to inhibit tumor growth and bolster immune system activity in general. IMHO – one of the most important deep immune tonics

Also known for: 

Increasing strength, true strength not He-Man, while increasing vitality – Qi – that inner essence we all carry. As a Western herbalist, I commonly use it for people who have low energy

Elimination of toxins – which in turns heals damaged tissue and supporting the liver and spleen functions. One of the first herbs I studied because of its effect on the liver and chemo.

Years ago, I was put through the paces of Chemo and it was awful. That very first day I could literally feel the poison being pumped into my body. I was 28 at the time and didn’t know any better, didn’t know I had options! Well, the chemo really jacked everything up and when I read about Astragalus I perked up quick.

Astragalus protects the liver from chemical damage and helps normalize blood pressure. If you decide on chemo or radiation, then it is better to include it in your protocol rather than use all alone. I was just happy to know I had found something natural to help others. In my case it was too late – milk thistle and others are better for Liver damage control and I had already lost my spleen in an ER surgery so Astragalus can’t help there. As a Spleen tonic, it renews energy, increases appetite, improves digestion and lifts prolapsed organs.

Astragalus is an adaptogen – class on that another day. She was primarily used in traditional Chinese medicine and found to be best when used in compounds. Also, a strong immune-enhancing herb – great for illness and surgical recovery. One of my fav’s for nourishing exhausted adrenals

Taking it to a different level:

Regular use has also shown to prevent both liver and kidney damage caused by RX or viruses. Wonderful or urine flow and preventing those pesky bladder infections.

As a lung tonic – remember those T-cells? Wonderful immune support that helps prevent bronchitis, pneumonia, cold & flu, Influenza virus, and for those with asthma too

A heart tonic - vasodilator – helps prevent Coronary Heart Disease and improves circulation – dilates blood vessels and helps fatigued hearts. Caution: Astragalus is an anti-clotting agent – caution with blood thinners


You will hear that Astragalus should be avoided during acute illness, like cold & Flu, but things are not always that simple. IMHO - If someone is sick and with a lot of deficiency symptoms, astragalus might be used to strengthen the person’s reserves to boost them towards wellness.

It all depends on the person and the situation so if you have a lot of health issues, ask your ND, Herbalist or practitioner about it. They will be able to guide you in this. For everyone else? Enjoy astragalus as you’d like!

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