Thursday, May 17, 2012

Huang Qi for Me !!!

By Mary Oleksowicz, L.Ac, MSTOM,

Huang qi also known as Astragulus Root is an herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine that is historically noted for its ability to “tonify the lung and spleen”.  For the novice herbalist, this means that the herb has the ability to strengthen the immune system, reduce mucus within the body and increase digestion. Western herbalists view Astragulus as an adaptogen, which means that it is an herb that can gradually builds your endurance and immunity over time.

In clinical practice, I have found Huang qi especially helpful during the allergy season. Traditional Chinese Medicine formulations partner the herb with others that are useful for respiratory health, especially for conditions where a weakened immune system may be a factor. Western Medicine use would include standardized extracts available in pill or liquid form .

The nice thing about Huang qi is that it can be a food-based medicine and a few pieces of root can be added to chicken stews or placed in a cup of hot water for 10-15 minutes. The root has a naturally sweet but also can be purchased  stir-fried with honey. This form can also be chewed and is a wonderful oral substitute for those quitting smoking.

So next time you would like to combat seasonal allergies , cold and flu season , or just “ get a boost” , think Huang Qi for me !!

( As with any change in your nutritional program , please be sure to consult your primary care practitioner and herbalist regarding safe use of this herb within your lifestyle) .


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