Astragalus - Astragalus membranaceus (in the Fabaceae or Legume family)
Parts used: Root.
Taste/smell: Sweet, moistening.
Tendencies: Slightly warming, circulates moisture.
Dosage: Decoction: 1 heaping tablespoon or 1/2 stick of the dry root per cup of water; or 1:4 dry plant liquid extract: 10-60 drops 1-4 times per day in a little water.
Mental picture and specific indications: This herb is beneficial to weakened individuals with night sweats, prolapsing organs, frequent infectious illnesses and poor digestion and nutritional status.
Use: (a) Adaptogenic, (b) Immunomodulating, (c) Anti-tumor activity, (d) Promotes tissue regeneration, (e) Anti-inflammatory, (f) Antiviral, (g) Protects kidney function, (h) Cardiotonic, (i) Diuretic, (j) Hypotensive, (k) Protects against WBC drops during chemotherapy, (l) Antioxidant, (m) Hepatoprotective.
Astragalus has hypotensive activity which appears to be due to both vasodilator and cardiodepressor activity. It acts as a diuretic only in weakness-induced water retention. In cancer patients receiving conventional chemotherapy treatment, astragalus protects adrenal cortical function and decreases bone marrow suppression. The two most pharmacologically-active constituent groups are polysaccharides and the saponins.
Contraindications: Information unavailable at this time.