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December 24, 2020 – 1:14 pm | One Comment | 4,011 views

Soup Name:  Basic Chinese Chicken Soup Stock (Soup Base)

Traditional Chinese Name: 清雞湯 (qīng jī tāng)

Introduction: This is the base Chinese Chicken Soup stock that …

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Home » Additives, Herbal

Astragalus Root

Submitted by on April 14, 2009 – 7:51 pm2 Comments | 30,345 views

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

Any benefits?

  • 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

Any precautions?

  • When used appropriately, astragalus appears to be very safe and to have few side effects
  • However, very high doses may suppress the immune system
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  • Jasmine says:


    Can I check with you if you know pregnant ladies can take bei qi? My mum says pregnant ladies cant take it but I can’t find anything on the net.


  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Jasmine,
    Yes, bei qi is a warming ingredient (or slightly heaty as the Chinese say), so as a general rule, anything heaty is OK for pregnant women (especially in their first trimester). I hope this helps and g’luck!

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