14 April 2009 9,651 views 5 Comments
Ingredient Name: Astragalus Root, Huang Qi, Bei Qi, Milk Vetch
Chinese Name: 黃耆 (huang qi) or 北芪 (bei qi)
What is this?
- It is a very common Chinese herb and can be found in the household soups (as well as in Chinese medicine)
- The astragalus root comes from a legume (specifically the pea family) and may also be called yellow milk vetch
- The root looks like dried wood and is usually light in body color with some dark pigmentation
- It is normally prepared as pictured above in thin, long pieces
- The herb is said to offer multiple health benefits and is often used to strengthen qi, boost the body’s immune system and help with heart functions
- It is slightly heaty with a slightly sweet taste
How do I prepare it?
Simply rinse under running water and it is ready to use
Where can I buy this?
The astragalus root can be purchased at most Chinese dried herb shops
What is the cost?
1 pound of dried astragalus root costs approximately $10 CAD
- The astragalus root has been a steple of chinese medicine for centuries and is often used to strengthen qi and boost the body’s immune system
- According to Western medicine astragalus helps to stimulate the body by producing a substance known as interferon while boosting red blood cell formation. Interferon, an anti viral agent, helps the body when destroying viruses and other harmful microbes
- The astragalus is a common ingredient to help build, retain and maintain heat in the body
- Another benefit of astragalus is its ability to boost energy levels and vitality. Also, astragalus root has been linked to improving blood circulation
When used appropriately, astragalus appears to be very safe and to have few side effects
However, very high doses may suppress the immune system