I’m on a bit of a kick these days about strengthening tonic herbs, particularly those that support the digestion, immune system, and the lungs. Autumn is a great time of change, and the Vata organs—the lungs and large intestine—need special attention during this season.
Astragalus root, an immune tonic and adaptogen, is a perfect choice for anyone feeling slightly depleted, especially if you have a tendency to allergies, asthma, or respiratory infections. It is considered safe for children and adults, and even pets!
Native to China, where it is known as Huang qi, Astragalus is a leading tonic herb in TCM, used to support resistance to infection as well as strengthening patients suffering from some chronic conditions such as diabetes.
Interestingly, Astragalus is condraindicated when there is an acute infection with fever, as its strengthening properties can slow the body’s ability to kill and remove invading microbes. This makes its use pretty much opposite of Echinaca, important information to have in mind with cold and flu season coming up.
- Echinacea is best used at the onset of actute infection, and is not considered a tonic herb.
- Astragalus is best used to prevent infection, and is less helpful once the infection has set in.
In addition to its immune boosting and strengthening properties, this tonic herb has shown effectiveness in supporting the cardiovascular system, and protecting the liver and kidneys when they have been stressed by viral infection or environmental toxins.
I like combining Astragalus and Reishi for the Autumn season. They can be taken together as tea with a little ginger and lemon, or in these great capsules from Oregon’s Wild Harvest.Astragalus/Reishi
However you choose to take it, Astragalus is a great choice to get you through the seasonal change from late Summer to Autumn.
In good health!