How to Boost Your Immune System with Astragalus

September 22, 2017

If you’re looking for a natural way to boost your immune system and nourish your body, you’re going to love today’s topic.  Today on the blog, we’re talking all about how to boost your immune system with one of my favorite herbs– astragalus.

How to Boost Your Immunity with Astragalus | Herbal Remdies | Home Remedies | Immunity | Health | Herbs | My Healthy Homemade Life

 

If you’re anything like me, you don’t think too much about boosting your immune system during the summer months but now that fall is here, maybe you or a family member caught a bit of the sniffles or the latest bug going around (like mine did) and now it’s time to get serious about staying well.

There are several things you can do to boost your immunity once you’re already sick (Elderberry Syrup,  Immune- Boosting Echinacea tincture and Fire Cider all work great and are staples in my home) but really, wouldn’t it be better to avoid getting sick in the first place?

Today, we’re going to talk about one herb that has been prescribed for centuries for chronic illness and to increase energy levels and overall vitality–  astragalus.

What is Astragalus?

Astragalus is sweet, food-like herb, that can easily be incorporated into your meals for daily consumption (more on that later.)  When consumed on a regular basis, this herb gradually nourishes the body and builds up your immune system.

Imagine for a moment, how astragalus works.  Picture an invisible layer of protection, just beneath your skin that protects you from external influences such as the cold, flu or other illnesses that you might be exposed to.   Imagine your body being deeply nourished and your heart, liver and kidneys protected. Imagine your body moving toward wellness and restored health.   This is what astragalus can do.

Another interesting thing about astragalus is that while it provides this protective barrier against external influences, it also increases your white blood cell count (your body’s defense system again infection) and it decreases viral replication.  All in all, what this means is that if you do happen to catch something, your body is ready to fight it off.

As you can imagine, astragalus is particularly beneficial for those who get sick often and those with a weakened immune system such as the elderly or those with cancer.   It has been proven through numerous oncology studies that astragalus enhances the immune system, reduces the side effects of chemotherapy and improves both the quality of life and overall survival of cancer patients.

How to Boost Your Immunity with Astragalus | Herbal Remdies | Home Remedies | Immunity | Health | Herbs | My Healthy Homemade Life

 

How to Use Astragalus To Boost Your Immune System

Since astragalus tastes good, it is an easy herb to incorporate into your daily life.

Astragalus root can be purchased either sliced, cut and sifted or powdered.  You can also purchase astragalus capsules or a ready-made astragalus tincture.

How to Boost Your Immunity with Astragalus | Herbal Remdies | Home Remedies | Immunity | Health | Herbs | My Healthy Homemade Life

 

Using Sliced Astragalus

I love using sliced astragalus because it’s so easy to throw into whatever pot you have cooking on the stove!  I add it to my soups, stews, chili, spaghetti sauce and to grains like brown rice and quinoa as they are cooking.   Like the bay leaf, be sure to discard the sliced astragalus before serving!

Another way to use sliced astragalus is to make tea.  Since astragalus is a root, it is best simmered on the stove for 20-60 minutes to extract more of its benefits. One of my favorite winter teas, Licorice Adaptogen Tea,  features astragalus.  I usually use the cut and sifted root when preparing this tea in bulk but you could easily substitute the sliced root.

Another way to use the sliced root is to make an astragalus tincture.   Simply fill a glass jar 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full of the sliced root and cover with vodka, apple cider vinegar or glycerin. Keep the jar out of direct sunlight and shake often (every day if possible) for 4-6 weeks.  Stain and store in a cool place.  For step by step instructions on making tinctures, see this post.

I also like adding astragalus root to my Elderberry Cold & Flu Syrup. 

More recipes using Sliced Astragalus Root:

 

How to Boost Your Immunity with Astragalus | Herbal Remdies | Home Remedies | Immunity | Health | Herbs | My Healthy Homemade Life

 

Using Powdered Astragalus

I find the powdered astragalus just as useful as the sliced root in incorporating this herb into my daily life.

Ideas for using powdered astragalus:

  • in smoothies ( I add 1 tsp to mine every day!)

  • mixed with water or almond milk and taken as a vitamin shot

  • added to raw treats or snack bites such as these Almond Joy Snack Bites

  • in baked goods, pancakes, muffins, etc. (substitute some of the flour with astragalus powder)

  • added to homemade hot cocoa

  • added to homemade granola

  • added to your morning oatmeal

 

Recipes using Astragalus Root Powder:

 

How to Boost Your Immunity with Astragalus | Herbal Remdies | Home Remedies | Immunity | Health | Herbs | My Healthy Homemade Life

Using Cut & Sifted Astragalus

I don’t find the cut & sifted astragalus quite as versatile as the slices or the powdered astragalus.   It does however, make a wonderful and easy addition to any tea blend you might be preparing.  If you love making tea, I’d recommend purchasing the cut & sifted astragalus.

I also use the cut & sifted astragalus more often than the slices when making an astragalus tincture.

Recipes using Cut & Sifted Astragalus:

 

How to Boost Your Immunity with Astragalus | Herbal Remdies | Home Remedies | Immunity | Health | Herbs | My Healthy Homemade Life

Dosage

Adults: 10-30 grams per day

Tincture (1:5) : 40-80 drops, three times per day

Decoction (Tea): 2 tsp in 12 oz of water.  Simmer 20-30 minutes.  Drink up to 3 cups per day.

Astragalus is considered a very safe herb, even for children.

Since astragalus works gradually, don’t expect immediate results.   Consume astragalus on a daily (or regular) basis for the best results.

 

What are your thoughts on Astragalus?   Leave a comment below or share a picture or comment on my Facebook Page or on Instagram . 

I love hearing your feedback!   

 

 

 

References:

Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism by Donald R. Yance

Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston and Steven Maimes

Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care by Maria Noel Groves

Rosalee de la Forȇt.  http://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/

 

This site is for educational purposes only. It does not provide medical advice. Information found on myhealthyhomemadelife.com is meant to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider.

 

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52 Comments

  • Reply Ritika September 25, 2017 at 10:18 am Wow! I've never heard of Astragalus! It looks like ginger - which is why I know I can trust that it'll be good for me! I love using root plants for herbal remedies. I'll have to see if I can find some up here in Canada!
    • Reply Jen September 25, 2017 at 10:39 am I hope you can find some, Ritika! It's great stuff!
  • Reply Yvonne September 25, 2017 at 10:35 am Great article and astralagus really works. I took it the whole time throughout chemo therapy and never had to take the Neulasta shots for low WBC. Thanks for sharing
    • Reply Jen September 25, 2017 at 10:38 am What a great testimony for astragalus, Yvonne. Thank you so much for sharing your experience!
  • Reply Rae September 27, 2017 at 11:30 am I thought I knew about herbs! But I've never heard of this! Totally going to get some of this to add to my herbal pantry. Thanks! Rae Mindful Rambles
    • Reply Jen September 27, 2017 at 2:20 pm I'm so glad I was able to share something new with you, Rae! :)
  • Reply C Gibson September 27, 2017 at 12:26 pm I've never heard of astragalus before, the tea does sound pretty good though.
    • Reply Jen September 27, 2017 at 2:21 pm It makes a wonderful addition to any tea blend! :)
  • Reply Shell September 27, 2017 at 4:13 pm I never heard of this plant before so it was interesting to learn something new today! I love teas so the tea sounds absolutely lovely!
    • Reply Jen September 27, 2017 at 4:35 pm I'm so glad to hear that, Shell! The tea is lovely!
  • Reply Karla September 28, 2017 at 12:13 am You so often educate me about something I have never heard of! It's amazing - neither of my kids have brought an illness home from school yet this year (I think this is a first). But, as you said, prevention is better than waiting until one of us is sick!
    • Reply Jen September 28, 2017 at 8:10 am Thank you, Karla! I'm happy to hear that!
  • Reply Bronke September 28, 2017 at 8:47 am Never heard of it, but i love to give it a try since I have a generally weak immuun system!
    • Reply Jen September 28, 2017 at 8:49 am Awesome! I'm so glad to hear that, Bronke!
  • Reply Chris September 28, 2017 at 10:32 am Thanks Jen for the introduction to Astragalus, I hadn't heard about it either. Amazing the amount of wonderful plant based remedies you find in nature. :) I don't recall, did you mention where it grows? ~Chris Earth Friendly Goodies
    • Reply Jen September 28, 2017 at 10:59 am You're welcome, Chris! I agree, there are so many wonderful remedies that we find in nature. Astragalus is actually native to China but can be grown in the U.S. I started two plants from seed this past spring in my zone 5 garden and they are growing wonderfully!
      • Reply Chris September 28, 2017 at 1:45 pm Oh fantastic, glad to hear they love your garden :)
  • Reply Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries September 28, 2017 at 1:29 pm Like most people here, I've never heard of astragalus! It sounds so amazing though!
  • Reply Stephanie | Adventures in Aussieland September 28, 2017 at 5:23 pm I've never heard of this herb but it definitely sounds like something I need in my diet. I love I'm always learning new things from your blog.
    • Reply Jen September 29, 2017 at 8:01 am Thank you so much, Stephanie!
  • Reply Elise Cohen Ho September 28, 2017 at 8:37 pm I am a huge fan. I have even used it to help my cat through a very rough patch.
    • Reply Jen September 29, 2017 at 8:02 am Thank you for sharing that, Elise! I'm so glad to hear it helped your cat!
  • Reply LaToya C October 2, 2017 at 8:31 pm I've never heard of this herb before, very interesting! I'm wondering if the powder can also be mixed into fresh pressed juice.
    • Reply Jen October 2, 2017 at 8:42 pm Yes, LaToya, you certainly could mix the astragalus with fresh juice!
  • Reply Christine October 2, 2017 at 11:52 pm Wow, great post, lots of information! My mom gave me a pack of sliced astragalus. She said it's very good for health to boost the immune system. I always add it to the soup.
    • Reply Jen October 3, 2017 at 8:34 am Thank you, Christine! What a great mom to look out for your health! :)
  • Reply chris October 3, 2017 at 1:37 pm Very interesting, I did not think about adding it into food, very nice post, very informative!
    • Reply Jen October 3, 2017 at 1:42 pm Thank you, Chris! Since astragalus is a food-like herb, I've found consuming it like and with your food is the most economical and easiest way to use it.
  • Reply Jenna October 4, 2017 at 9:47 am I take phyto adr which is a homeopathic pill and it has it in it. Love the suggestions will definitely buy and try
    • Reply Jen October 4, 2017 at 9:52 am Thanks so much, Jenna! I'm glad to hear that! :)
  • Reply Sian October 4, 2017 at 10:00 am I usually just take astragalus capsules but you've given me so much more to think about now. I'm going to check out some of your recipes. Have pinned to come back to! Thanks for all this useful info :)
    • Reply Jen October 4, 2017 at 11:55 am I'm so glad to hear that, Sian! The capsules are easy and convenient but using the herb can be just as easy and it's much less expensive. :)
  • Reply GiGi Eats October 4, 2017 at 1:22 pm Astragalus is actually in my multivitamin! BOOM! Winning the immunity war! ;)
    • Reply Jen October 4, 2017 at 2:05 pm It sure is, Gigi! :)
  • Reply Angela October 5, 2017 at 1:23 am I have never heard of Astragalus before! But it sounds like just the thing we need to get through the winter, I will have to check out my local health store to see if they carry it!
    • Reply Jen October 5, 2017 at 9:02 am It does work wonderfully, Angela. I hope you are able to try it!
  • Reply Amy October 5, 2017 at 8:51 am I have never heard of astragalus. I hate being sick. Love my protein shakes so I am going to order some to add to them. I also subscribed to your list. Looking forward to reading more post. I will also add this post to my blog FB page. Great post.
    • Reply Jen October 5, 2017 at 9:02 am Thank you so much, Amy! :) I'm so glad to have you here!
  • Reply Yolanda October 5, 2017 at 11:01 am After being sick the last two week, I could have used this for sure! I will look into getting some.
    • Reply Jen October 6, 2017 at 7:32 am It is a great herb, Yolanda. I hope you get to try it!
  • Reply ellie October 5, 2017 at 11:13 pm ah that's what this is called!! My Mother in Law has been steeping this in a Korean Honey, Lemon tea for years for me whenever I have a cold. It's amazing stuff!
    • Reply Jen October 6, 2017 at 7:35 am It is indeed! I love to see how it's being used! Thanks for sharing that, Ellie!
  • Reply Leah October 7, 2017 at 12:27 am This is fabulous! Another herb to add to my medicine cabinet. Adding this to our smoothies sounds great. Thanks again for all your wonderful and helpful information. Whenever I need to know something about herbs, flowers or recipes of any kind I always come here!
  • Reply Jen October 7, 2017 at 7:34 am Thank you so much, Leah! :) Astragalus is definitely a great herb to try.
  • Reply Improve Your Health: The Benefits Of Astragulas Root - Chan Supplements November 21, 2017 at 4:14 pm […] http://www.myhealthyhomemadelife.com/how-to-boost-your-immune-system-with-astragalus/ […]
  • Reply Andy November 23, 2017 at 3:59 pm Wow, thanks for that great informations! I know this herb, but its very difficult to get in germany... Do You have any idea for me?
    • Reply Jen November 24, 2017 at 11:38 am I'm looking into it, Andy. Here in the U.S., we can often find astragalus at health food stores (sometimes special order only) but I mainly order online from reputable companies. One of my favorite U.S. herb companies is Mountain Rose Herbs which carries a huge selection of herbs, including astragalus. I'm looking into whether or not there is a similar company in Germany. I'll keep you posted!
    • Reply Jen November 28, 2017 at 6:46 pm Hi Andy, After talking to my herbal group, I have two recommendations for reputable herb companies in Germany: https://www.dragonspice.de/ and https://www.herbathek.com/
  • Reply M. November 28, 2017 at 5:15 pm HI, Jen. Thank you for this most interesting post. I've used the slices in soup, then remove them before serving. I've also used the same in chai. Does the powdered astragalus actually dissolve in hot cocoa or does it make a residue at the bottom of the mug? Even if it does NOT dissolve and DOES make the residue, will I still be getting the benefits in the cocoa? Thanks!
    • Reply Jen November 28, 2017 at 6:53 pm Hi M, I'm so glad you found the post helpful! Occasionally, I do find some residue at the bottom of the mug if I let my cocoa sit too long but it isn't very much at all. As long as you don't let it sit too long, you'd be consuming almost all of the astragalus and getting the benefits.
      • Reply M. December 6, 2017 at 11:03 am Thanks! I'm going to order the powdered root soon. I be happy to add it to cocoa during the cocoa season!
        • Reply Jen December 6, 2017 at 12:15 pm You're welcome! It's an easy and delicious way to consume astragalus!

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