Scientific name: Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge.

Common names: Astragalus, Milk-vetch (English), Huang Qi (Chinese), Hwanggi (Korean) and Ogi (Japanese)


Proven health benefits

Astragalus improves visual acuity and fundus manifestations in patients with diabetic retinopathy.

Preparation and dosage

Astragalus is traditionally used as a strong decoction, made from boiling the dried root in water for a long time. The tea (decoction) dose used to manage diabetes ranges from 20 g twice a day to 60 g four times a day. Start with 40 g/day, which can be increased, according to outcome, up to 240 g/day.

Part used



Astragalus is a perennial herb widely used in traditional Chinese medicine for several ailments, including the management of diabetes mellitus and its complications. It is a key component of many Chinese herbal anti-diabetic formulas. Astragalus is also common in Asian food for daily consumption.

Where to buy
In pharmacies and online shops, it is possible to find it in the form of dried roots or capsules. In Asian markets, it is possible to find it in powdered form.
Make your own

How to collect or grow it: Roots of any age can be harvested; however, older roots are considered more potent – Harvest astragalus in the fall by first removing the foliage and stems. Astragalus aerial parts have no medicinal value and can be composted or discarded. Next, carefully dig around the base of the stem to expose the taproot. Continue exploring and twisting until most of the root can be extracted from the ground.

How to prepare it: Dry the roots in the shade and then cut them small.

In an airtight container
Precautions, interactions, and adverse effects
Astragalus is used in ordinary Asian food and can be safely consumed
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Despite the lack of systematically controlled studies in pregnant women or during breastfeeding, as a common food product, astragalus can be consumed safely at the usual doses

Astragalus recipes


Astragalus soup

Astragalus soupIngredients For 6 people 1 tablespoon oil, preferably olive oil 1 large onion, peeled and diced 2 carrots, diced 2 celery stalks, ends removed and diced 4 cloves garlic, smashed and skins removed 5 sprigs fresh thyme (optional) 1 sprig fresh rosemary...

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Astragalus immunity tea

Astragalus chai teaIngredients For 1 person 40 gAstragalus root  1tablespoon dried lemon peel 2teaspoons ginger, minced 2½ cups of water Preparation In a medium-sized pot, cover all ingredients with the water Boil for 3 minutes Filter and drink it Drink this whole...

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Astragalus chai tea

Astragalus Chai TeaIngredients For 1 person 40 g astragalus root  1tablespoon dried orange peel 2teaspoons ginger, minced ½ tablespoon cinnamon,broken ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns 2green cardamom, pods 2whole cloves  2½ cups of water Preparation In a...

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Astragalus traditional decoction

Astragalus quick and easy traditional decoctionIngredients For 1 person 40 g Astragalus root 2½ cups of water Sweetener (optional) Preparation Bring water to boil. Add Astragalus and boil for another 3 minutes. Pour through a fine cloth or coffee filter to strain. Add...

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