Astragalus membraneous, How Much to Grow?
Answered by: Zhongfa Wu
Question from: Spencer White
Posted on: December 17, 2006

Is this is correct Astragalus membranaceus that is used in so much Chinese medicine? Fatigue, arthritis and recurring malaria symptom are my primary concerns. In order to have enough to harvest for a family of 4, would a few plants suffice? My understanding is that the root is the part of the plant one harvest, correct?

Huangqi, a traditional Chinese medicine, is from the root of Astragalus membranaceus. It mainly grows in north of China. So, it can be grown successfully in North America.

Huangqi is classified as a medicine for restoratives as ginseng in Chinese medicine. It medicinal actions include: replenish qi to invigorate yang; benefit the lung to strengthen the body; promote diuresis and relieve edema; relieve skin infection and promote tissue regeneration.

It is true that it is much used in Chinese medicine. I would like to introduce some applications as follows:

1. It is used for the syndrome with qi-deficiency of the spleen and lung, and visceroptosis with hyposplenic qi manifested as fatigue and weakness due to prolonged illness, it is used together with ginseng.

2. It is applied for cough due to lung deficiency, superficies-asthenia with profuse sweating, or night sweating.

3. It is applied for maltransformation of water and dampness due to deficiency of qi with facial edema, oliguria or palpitation, and dyspnea.

4. It is applied for unruptured carbuncle or ruptured but unhealed one due to deficiency of qi and blood. It is often used together with danggui (Angelica sinensis).

5. For numbness of limbs and hemiplegia due to deficiency of qi and stagnation of blood, it is often used with quizhi.

Concerning how many plants should be grown, I would like to say that it depends on how much you can harvest, which varies depending on the particular growing conditions. For how much you would consume for medicinal use, asking a doctor of Chinese medicine is recommended.

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