Astragalus

Astragalus

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Astragalus membranaceus

Astragalus, also known as Huáng Qí or milkvetch, is a Perennial herb growing to approx. 90cm high, that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

It has many purported health benefits, including immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory effects.  Though there are over 2,000 species of Astragalus, only two are primarily used in supplements — Astragalus membranaceus and Astragalus mongholicus.

Specifically, the yellow root of the plant is made into many different forms of supplements, including liquid extracts, capsules, powders and teas.

Astragalus plants are used both as a medicine and as a food, and Astragalus roots can be added to just about any slow-simmering meal for a nutrient boost.  

When sowing the seeds, first prepare the right type of soil. It prefers sandy, well-drained soil. Standing water will quickly cause root rot and the death of your plant, so make sure the soil isn’t too thick or full of clay. Clay soil holds onto too much moisture.

It prefers to grow in soil that has a pH range between 6.5-7. Make sure to enrich the soil with compost or well-rotted manure for nutrients before planting. 

Astragalus seeds require a 21-day cold stratification period for proper germination and mild scarification with fine-grade sandpaper.  Begin stratification in mid to late Winter, then start seeds indoors, transplant outdoors after frost in early Spring.  Before sowing seed, soak in water for an hour, and then sow directly onto soil, covering with a thin layer of soil, and water deeply.  Germination takes place 3-10 days after sowing the seeds.

Grow in partial shade, or full sun.  Astragalus is a fast grower in optimal conditions, and it may become invasive. Prune annually or whenever the plant is getting too large.

Astragalus requires two years of growth before harvesting the root stock for medicinal use, but some prefer to wait until the root is three years old.  This ensures that there is plenty of root stock left for the plant, as well as a good-sized harvest.

5 seeds per packet