Huang Qi (黄芪，Astragalus root) in Traditional Chinese Medicine
The Astragalus root or Huang Qi has very similar functions to Ginseng. Used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, like Ginseng, It is also an adaptogen that is able to help the body deal with physical, emotional or mental stress. It has many functions- improve Qi, prevent colds, reduces blood sugar, and beautifying. It contains powerful antioxidants that help the body fight free radical damage. It stimulates our immune system while also being anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. It helps the body fight infections, prevent oxidation stress and boosts the immune system.
High antioxidant stress is a key factor in aging, hence Huang Qi is able to fight free radical damage and prevent aging. Due to its powerful anti-oxidant properties, Huang Qi is commonly used in TCM beauty formulas or recipes. It improves skin health by restoring our skin’s natural balance. Huang Qi invigorates the Qi to increase blood flow to the skin, which in turn helps to flush out toxins that may cause inflammation in the skin. It also prevents the breakdown of elastin fibers, which is a key factor in helping skin to maintain its firmness and elasticity & flexibility. Huang Qi also promotes the production of blood and body fluids relieving blood stagnation, helps to reduce water-retention and commonly used for water retention in the legs or even puffy eyes.
Huang Qi is best taken as a preventive medicine. It works by boosting the immune system and preventing colds & flu or infections before it happens.
It is sweet, slightly warm in nature and manifests its therapeutic actions in the spleen and lung meridians. In TCM, it is also commonly used to promote wound healing and promotes tissue and muscle regeneration.
Huang Qi is not suitable for menstruating, pregnant & breastfeeding ladies. It is also not suitable to be taken during a bout of fever or cold.
Huang Qi is easy to prepare, can be used in teas or soups. If used in teas, it’s best to boil it in water for a short time(5-10 mins) for the best effect. It can be found easily from supermarkets or local chinese tcm singapore shops or Traditional Chinese Medicine shops.
A simple Huang Qi Tea Recipe can be found here.
Another simple Huang Qi Whitening Tea can be found here.
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