Astragalus oil is from the root of a plant known as Astragalus membranaceus, that has various names like Huang Qi, Bei Qi and Hwanqqi and is native to northern China and the elevated regions of the Chinese provinces like Yunnan and Sichuan.
The astragalus is a member of the pea family and coined Huang Qi that means yellow leader because of the yellow root. It has a sweet-smelling yellow blossom and a hairy stem that grows best in sandy, well-drained soil under the sun. This particular plant and its uses were discovered by a Chinese herbalist named Shen Nong, almost 5,000 years ago. He created a detailed record called Shen Nong Pen Tsao Ching that listed about 300 plants that he had discovered and this record served as a log of his research.
Some uses of the astragalus oil is to strengthen and replenish qi, the body’s life force and protective energy, or as we know it, the immune system. No studies have been reported about the cosmetic use of this oil, so, for now, it’s best to use for massages. The root can be made into other products like liquid extracts, tinctures, teas and creams for topical use. Some products containing traces of this plant were useful in helping to treat chronic weakness, fatigue, weak digestion, shortness of breath, bloating, ulcers, low immunity, heart failure, HIV/AIDS, night sweats, nephritis, low adrenal energy, urinary tract infections and chronic colds, allergies or flu prevention.
The astragalus plant contains polysaccharides, saponins, flavonoids, amino acids, trace elements, essential oils, organic compounds, minerals, dietary and crude fiber, bitter compounds that increase the flow of urine and mucilaginous compounds that enhance immune response.
Benefits of astragalus oil are to bolster immune function, increase white blood cell count, helps to stimulate production of antibodies, improves digestive health, improves overall function of the heart and cardiovascular system, promotes metabolic function, helps to manage diabetes, promotes normal cholesterol levels, enhances liver and kidney function, assists in increasing bodily resistance to virus and bacteria and helps cure stomach ulcers through the inhibition of gastric secretions and reduction of gastric acid.
The plant can help your body by relaxing the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure, stops fatty plaque deposits from clogging arteries, enhances body energy, aids in decreasing acidity level in the stomach and reducing blood sugar levels.
It is best to avoid consuming the plant or the oil if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have undergone surgery or suffering from illnesses as autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes or systemic lupus erythematosus.
No recorded incidents of ill effects of astragalus have been recorded, but be sure to take note of the potential side effects of increased visibility of pimples and blemishes, increased effects of some antiviral meds, interference with actions of diuretics, phenobarbital, beta-blockers and anticoagulants, rise in growth hormone levels, allergic reactions or counteracting of the immune-suppressing effects of cyclophosphamide.
Dr Fredda Branyon