Astragalus for Immune Support
I love the herb Atragalus membranceus because it is a wonderful immune system “shield” for the winter months.
Avoiding sick people at home, the work place, and social functions is nearly impossible during the winter months so protecting yourself with proper hand washing, and ensuring that your immune system is properly “winterized” is an easy enough thing to do.
Although these sick individuals should do us all a favor and stay home, they still for whatever reason valiantly roll in to the work place, exposing us all to the latest cough, cold or flu.
Be sure to use the root of this plant.
You can take this in capsule or tincture form, or a simple tea can be made by simmering 1 heaping tablespoon or ½ stick of the dry root per 8 oz cup of water for about 15 minutes. Astragalus tea can be added to soups, or cooked in to brown rice for an edible immune system treat.
According to Chinese medicine theory, herbs that engage the shield should not be used once one is actually ill. The analogy is that when “your house is infested with robbers you want to open up all the windows and doors to drive them out”.
Astragalus is a great way to lock down your doors and windows to prevent the winter “robbers” from getting in. Once ill however it is best to use a different kind of herb than this general immune system tonic.
Author: Dr. Nicole Sundene
Sources: “The Web That Has No Weaver” by Ted Kaptchuk, OMD
“Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth” by Sharon Tilgner, ND