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The Willow Journal

Plant Monograph: Astragalus Membranous

Plant Monograph: Astragalus Membranous

A Plant Meditation Update & Monograph
Astragalus Membranous

Winter has settled in, and with it, the typical colds, flus, and achy pains that accompany. Of course, we have our go-to remedies like Immense Defense and LNG Ease for short term repair of these common ailments and hopefully that will get you back on your feet! But what about stubborn bacterial and viral infections? Is there an herb that offers support for lingering illness that is hard to kick? 

We're so glad you asked! We'd like to introduce Astragalus membranous.

Astragalus is used to strengthen the immune system and it is used specifically for long term, slow acting viral infections. These are virus that are hard to beat. What if you or a loved one is going on week 3 of a nasty viral infection and nothing seems to be touching it. There is fatigue and a reoccurrence of symptoms, and just when you think that you've kicked it, you fall flat on your back again! 

Astragalus can get beneath a virus as if to push it out of our system. This is done via the immuno-modulating qualities of astragalus. Astragalus is said to work at the foundation of our immune system, or our innate immune system...what we were born with. 

Astragalus has a long tradition of being the premiere immuno-modulating herb in Chinese medicine. It is a solid staple found in a wide range of formulas. It has been touted for its immune stimulating properties as well as being anti-bacterial, anti-viral and diuretic. Much research has been done for its efficacy in treating Hepatitis C, building red blood cells in the bone marrow, and promoting the health of white blood cells. In the western herbal tradition Astragalus has been classified as an adaptogenic herb that helps to bring balance and improve function to the immune, nervous and hormonal system. Epstein Barr, Shingles, Herpes and Mononucleosis are examples of these slow acting viruses that seem to spread their web into many of our organ systems.

Research shows that our immune response is not limited to the immune system via spleen, lymph & blood cells. A healthy immune system involves a symphony of hormones from the endocrine system, amino acids, the brain/gut, heart and nerves working together to orchestrate a unified immune response. Astragalus works in concert with these systems!

An important note: Astragalus does stimulate the immune system.”Astragalus can increase urination and, as a result, might affect the elimination of the drug lithium allowing it to build up in the body leading to serious side effects.  Astragalus may also affect blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

Here are some other safety concerns associated with this powerful plant ally:

"Astragalus is considered safe for most adults although its side effects are not known. However, the NMCD review concluded that doses greater than 28 grams might limit the activity of the immune system and advised pregnant women and nursing mothers to avoid it since not much is known about the effects of astragalus during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Also, since taking astragalus might make the immune system more active in individuals with auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the review suggested that individuals with these conditions avoid it.”


In celebration of the New Year we chose Astragalus as our featured herb. Astragalus is ruled by Jupiter the Great Benefic. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system,  a giant gaseous mass that sends out more energy than it absorbs. 

In Vedic astrology, it is known as Guru. It opens our heart, brings goodness and protection and helps us expand our consciousness to receive prosperity and an expansive outlook toward success and wisdom. 

The color associated with Jupiter is yellow. Hence, Astragalus is called the yellow leader as it is a primary ingredient in many herbal formulas to strengthen and protect our organ systems. 

Astragalus, as it falls under the rulership of Jupiter is an adaptogenic herb that provides great strengthening protection and vitality to many of our organs particularly in the presence of stress. 'Adaptogenic herbs also have profound stabilizing effects on the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis, which is also known as our “god center”. This center, to say the least, is known by many to be the origin of horrmones, the molecules of consciousness, the command center of our subtle body, acting as gateway to higher consciousness.”

Medical astrologers look at the influence of the planets on the body. Jupiter is the ruler of the sign Sagittarius which rules the hips the thighs and the base of the spine. Further, anatomical correspondences include the liver, pancreas, our arterial system and subcutaneous fat. Remember! Jupiter is about expansion! Also ruled are the adrenals and digestive organs. Harmonious aspects of Jupiter bring feelings of emotional well being, a strong sturdy body and healthy metabolic system, and support for heart adrenals and immune system.



At Dancing Willow Herbs
we have several formulas where Astragalus is the featured herb.

Deep Support: Works at the foundation of the immune system, toning and nourishing organs responsible for immune support. Excellent for chronic conditions such as ongoing viral infections and fatigue. This tincture is not an immuno-stimulant, but an aid in immune-support.

Contains: Astragalus, Echinacea Angustifolia, Siberian Ginseng, Nettles, Licorice, Milk Thistle and St. John's Wort

Lomatium /Astragalus   
formulated to treat long standing viral and bacterial infections. Great for those low grade, chronic infections that are difficult to kick.

Contains: Lomatium, Astragalus, Echinacea Angustifolia, Thuja, Red Root, Baptista and Oregon Grape

A toning blend of herbs that nourishes the nervous system, strengthens the immune system and balances hormones.

Contains: Lemon Balm, St. John’s Wort, Astragalus, Calendula, Echinacea, Siberian Ginseng, Sarsaparilla and Chaste Tree Berries


“Astragalus.”, 20 Oct. 2017,
 “Plant Medicine Blog.” Anima Mundi