July 19th, 2018
There’s an herb for that! Astragalus root for Fatigue
One of the best ways to reduce fatigue, and increase energy and clarity is with herbal medicine. In this post, I introduce you to the popular herb, Astragalus root or Huang Qi in Chinese Medicine.
Astragalus root is classified as a superior herb within the Chinese herbal medicine text, Divine Farmers Materia Medica.
A superior herb is one that is edible, non-toxic and is intended to nourish life. It is known in Chinese herbal medicine to primarily strengthen or tonify the bodies chi (Qi) or vital life force. When the body’s qi is strengthened, it can regain a sense of balance and harmony. Astragalus root also improve your immune function. A strong immune system possesses a bounty of white and red blood cells that keep you healthy.
In the west, Astragalus root or Huang qi is known as an adaptogen. This means that Astragalus root helps your body adapt to what it needs, while supporting and maintaining normal functioning.
Although western research on Astragalus root is slim, this herb has been used successfully in Chinese medicine for over 3,000 years. In addition to fatigue, Astragalus root can also be effecting in increasing endurance and alleviating symptoms related to diarrhea, the common cold, high blood pressure, and even diabetes!
Huang qi defined in the Chinese Medicine Materia Media is sweet in nature and slightly warm in temperature. These properties mean that the herb is going to help strengthen or tonify, as mentioned before and the warmth will aid the internal body in movement. This herb also has an affinity for the Lungs and Spleen. Both of which are associated with immunity from a western and easter perspective.
For more on boosting your immune system, check out my post, Boost your Immune System with these Four Actions.
I Know Fatigue Well. Can you Relate?
While studying for my masters in Chinese Medicine, I was in school for 40+ hours/week, while also working 20+/week. The stress of studying, waking early, working, and wanting to have a little fun wore me down. I know what you thinking. “Malerie, you were mentally and physically active for 60+ hours a week. Of course, you’re going to be fatigued and tired.” This is true. However, when I did have time to relax and sleep, I still felt tired. Why? Because my system was already taxed.
My brain never stopped. Even when I was relaxing, I was worried or stressed about something. My day began and ended with fatigue. I felt clouded more often than not and I had a hard time making decisions. Can you relate? Before this lifestyle went from bad to worse, I began to leaned into the medicine I had been studying.
How to Use Astragalus Root
Astragalus root or Huang qi can be found within all major and local health food stores. There you’ll find the herb in pill and tincture form. Tinctures are exactions of the herbs compounds in alcohol. For questions about their products and dosage, please consult with the health food stores representative.
For the use of Astragalus root or huang qi, I strongly recommend you seek out a Chinese herbal medicine practitioner. Herbs are potent medicinals and therefore it’s important that you receive proper guidance.
When you meet with your licensed herbalist, they’ll open a discussion about your specific symptoms, needs and desires. With this information, the practitioner will then be able to provide the appropriate dosage and duration of use for Astragalus root or Huang Qi.
While working with me or another herbalist, they may add in a few herbal friends too! In Chinese medicine the use of two or more Chinese herbs increases effectiveness.
This practice of combining two or more herbs together is known as formulation. In herbal medicine, a formula consists of herbs that will complement, enhance, and even direct the actions of the other herbs. This practice is similar to building a house. In order for the house to be constructed effectively, we need an architect, a builder, a painter, an electrician, a plumber, and so on. Herbal formulas are created the same way. All helping and building off one another and their work.
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Why Herbal Medicine
Herbal medicine is powerful. It teaches us that we can heal from the environment around us. We can also use herbal medicine to replace or reduce the use of pharmaceuticals and over the counter medications. Herbal medicine can be used for acute and chronic issues.
It is my intention to help you understand herbal medicine and it’s healing strength. I also hope that this information gives you the confidence to seek out a practitioner of herbal medicine.
For more information on addressing fatigue naturally, check this posts:
Disclaimer: This information is intended for general reference only. It is not a replacement for professional health advice. The content in this post intentionally does not provide dosage information or possible interactions with prescription drugs or other medications. Please contact a certified health practitioner such as a physician of Oriental Medicine or Herbalist before considering use. To schedule an appointment with Malerie, visit the services page.