Astragalus (Root) Benefits in TCM & Who Should Not Eat It!

Astragalus, also known as Astragalus root (黄芪) is a very popular herb in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) known for its Qi boosting effect! In this post, let’s take a look at how you can make the very best out of it and who should eat or avoid eating it.


In TCM, we believe the stronger your Qi, the stronger your immunity! Hence, Astragalus has the effect of boosting your immunity since it excels in boosting Qi.

The thermal nature of Astragalus is slightly warm so people who are heaty (sore throat, flu symptoms with fever) at the moment should avoid eating it.

Astragalus has Qi-boosting effects on the lungs and spleen organ. It has the following main property:

Boosting Qi in the lungs. Astragalus is good for people who sweat and fall sick easily. Falling sick easily means that the person’s Qi in the lungs is weaker. Hence, Astragalus is very suitable for improving the immune in such cases.  It is also suitable for people who feel tired easily. 

In general, Astragalus is very suitable for people with Yang deficiency or Qi deficiency body constitution types. 

Who Should Avoid Eating Astragalus

People who are currently having flu symptoms, especially accompanying sore throat and fever, should avoid eating Astragalus at the moment. 

If your body constitution is Phlegm and dampness or Yin deficiency types, you are also not suitable to eat Astragalus as a single herb*.

*Although it is not suitable to eat Astragalus alone, it is still possible to consume it together with other herbs. It is better to visit a TCM physician for consultation. 

Ways to Eat Astragalus

If you have those dried Astragalus (shown in the above image), you can cook them with red dates and dried orange peel to make it a drink. The red dates will supplement the Qi boosting effect by improving the absorption rate of your spleen. The dried orange peel will help to soothe the Qi flow in your stomach. This combination will reduce the discomfort of some people who may not be suitable to eat Astragalus and still get the immunity-boosting effect.

The ingredients (for 1 pax) are:

  • Astragalus (15 to 30g)
  • Red dates (6 to 15g)
  • Dried orange peel (3g)
  • Water

Wash the ingredients briefly and add them to water and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remember to turn the fire/heat to the smallest once the water starts to boil.

Astragalus with red dates

If you find that the above drink is too troublesome to prepare, you can also buy Astragalus supplements like this one as it is the most convenient way to consume Astragalus. Just remember to stop the supplement if you have a sore throat or fever/flu. 

Hope you find this post useful!

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