Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Astragalus Root

I thought it would be a good time to mention one of my favorite herbs, astragalus root. With all the talk about colds and the flu, it's helpful to know of an herb that enhances your immune system without any side effects and is a relatively inexpensive herb as well. I first read about astragalus in Dr. Andrew Weil's book, "Natural Health, Natural Medicine". It's great for use when you think you may be catching something, but since it's non-toxic, you can just use it regularly to keep your immune system strong. We use the powdered herb in capsule form and follow the directions on the bottle, but tincture or tablets are fine. If we think we're getting a cold or something, we increase the dosage temporarily to give ourselves an extra boost. You can also find astragalus root in Chinese grocery stores and some health food stores as dried, sliced root that you can simmer as tea or in soup.
Still, of course, the best thing to help you prevent getting sick is hand-washing and avoiding touching your face (especially eyes and nose). Don't you think that shaking hands should be put on temporary hold until after flu season? We can just show our palms to each other to say that we're not carrying any weapons. Maybe make a peace sign or a Vulcan sign or something.


  1. What about increased doses of vitamin C? Have you read any thing to warrant not taking them?

    I like the Vulcan sign,I know I'm a nerd. :)

  2. From what I've read, your body can only absorb 200 mg. a day, so more than that would be wasted. Sounds low, but that's what they say. As for myself, I'd probably take some extra anyway because it doesn't hurt and it SEEMS like it should help.
    Live long and prosper!

  3. If you are eating fruits and veggies on a regular basis, it is really difficult to not get enough vitamin C. As for the Vulcan sign, I'm all for it, except in the case of my non- nerd friends I carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer for times I can't wash my hands.

  4. Thanks for the tip Julie! I've been down with the flu for he past week and a half, and I think I'll pick up some astragalus root to avoid a relapse. A lot of people are getting it again a week or two after they are done with it the first time, so stocking up might not be a bad idea.

    Oh, and watch the hand sanitizer use everyone. A GP I know says that some people can develop dermatitis from overuse of the stuff, so wash with soap and water instead when there's a sink available. I'm all for the Vulcan sign idea; helps all us geeks to identify one another anyway. ;-)

  5. You guys are awesome.Vulcan sign it is.

  6. Sorry you've been sick, Jen! We also read that some hand sanitizers aren't even effective, so the false security can be a hazard. Vulcan signs rule.