The root of Astragalus membranaceus, an herb that grows in northern China, has been used for over 2000 years to strengthen the body as a whole. Astragalus is believed by the Oriental people to strengthen muscle and support metabolic functions. One of the most important herbs in the world, Astragalus has been recognized as a superb and potent tonic by modern researchers.
Astragalus is said to have an effect on the “surface” of the body --- that is, it is used to tonify the “Protective Qi,” known as Wei Qi in Chinese. This Protective Qi is a special kind of energy which circulates just under the skin and in the muscle. Protective Qi is a Yang energy. Protective Qi circulates in the subcutaneous tissues providing suppleness to the flesh and adaptive energy to the skin. This function is essential to life. Wei Qi is the energy of the skin and immune system, in harmony, that responds to changes in the environment.
An important effect of Astragalus is in its ability to fortify the “Upright Qi.” Upright Qi is the energy allocated by the body to maintain upright posture and to maintain the position of the organs in their healthy position in their battle with gravity. As one gets older, this Upright Qi is naturally depleted.
Tonifies the “three burning spaces” (metabolic functions), increases Qi, tonifies the Lungs and Spleen, raises Yang, reduces perspiration, facilitates excretion of water*
As an energizer, Astragalus is famed for its strengthening effects on the outside of the body, in particular to the musculature. It is therefore beneficial in particular to younger adults, who tend to be physically active and require abundant external energy. Astragalus is used to strengthen the legs and arms, and is commonly used by people who work outdoors, especially in the cold, because of its strengthening and warming nature.