Astragalus

Astragalus membranaceus

Energy tonic with immune support

Astragalus is one of the most important energy tonics in traditional Chinese medicine. It is used to help increase the vitality of patients who are debilitated, and is specifically indicated for cases of fatigue accompanied by poor appetite. Astragalus is particularly useful if you are constantly feeling run-down as well as tired, since it also supports the immune system, helping the body to fight off infections, such as colds and flu.

0 DOSAGE Boil 3 to 10 g dried astragalus root in 'U cup (60 ml) of water for 10 minutes before straining; drink the decoction in 2 doses during the day. Alternatively, take tablets or capsules according to the manufacturer's instructions, up to a maximum dose equivalent to 7.5 g dried root per day.

Cautions

• Do not exceed the recommended dose of Siberian ginseng.

• Siberian ginseng is unsuitable for people with hyperactivity disorders, bipolar disorder or similar conditions. If you have cardiovascular disease (including high and low blood pressure), or if you are taking anticoagulant medication, only use it under professional supervision.

• Siberian ginseng and astragalus are contraindicated during acute infections.

• Stop using Siberian ginseng at least 2 weeks before undergoing surgery.

Katigue Is your body's way of telling you lhat it's time to rest. However, if your energy levels seem to be much lower than usual, or you are I'M) tired to participate in normal everyday activities, then it's time to see a healthcare professional, who can help determine the underlying issue behind your fatigue. Although most causes of fatigue are related to lifestyle factors, such as the amount of sleep, exercise and healthy food you are getting each day. tiredness can also present as a symptom of an underlying health problem. sM<-h as anemia, underactive thyroid conditions or glandular fever. As well as the herbs detailed on this page, the remedies for Tension and stress (see page 210) and Insomnia (see page 214) may also be useful.

If you are diabetic, do not use Siberian ginseng, except under medical supervision. If you are taking tranquillizers, sedatives, antidepressants, thyroid medication, chemotherapy or immunosuppressant medication, do not take withania, except under professional supervision. Resistance-boosting astragalus may help reduce the side effects of some immunosuppressive cancer treatments, but should only be used in this way in consultation with your doctor. Siberian ginseng may also interact with chemotherapy. Do not take withania if you are sensitive to plants belonging to the Solanaceae family (for example, potato, tomato, eggplant). Do not use these herbs if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, except under the advice of a healthcare professional.

Memory and concentration

If you keep forgetting where you put the car keys or your glasses, it could be time to mix up a memory tonic.

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