Astragalus 黄芪 is a Chinese herb that has been used for more than 2000 years for people with weak and damp constitution such as catching colds and flus easily, cold sweats, boils, chronic lung problem, and weak spleen. It is taken as a tea, soup or stew, sometimes with other herbs to booster immune system and strengthen the body.
Astragalus is a warming herb and is therefore not suitable for people with hot constitution. It is not to be taken when one has a cold.
It is used in Western world as an immune booster and is usually taken in capsules form which is the least effective and has the most potential for side effects.
TCM says that every medicinal herb has 3 part toxicity and can not be used for long term. Medicinal food can be used on a regular basis, but not daily. Astragalus is considered a medicinal food and can be taken a few times a week as tea, soup or stew.
Choose your herbs wisely.