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Author Topic: (233) Huang Qi (Astragali Radix)  (Read 5119 times)


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(233) Huang Qi (Astragali Radix)
« on: February 22, 2008, 10:29:01 PM »

The most common Huang Qi cases you will see in the clinic include skin and membrane disorders, spontaneous sweating, edema, and somnolence.


a. Chronic Ulcers, Behcet's syndrome: The Lung governs the qi and the skin, and Huang Qi tonifies the Lung very well.  Huang Qi is effective in treating continuous, chronic, inflammatory ulcers, including mouth ulcers which occur with fatigue as in Behcet's syndrome.  Huang Qi's ability to treat mouth ulcers is limited to the etiology of qi deficiency, and does not include mouth ulcers caused by excess heat.  Huang Qi has the action of generating flesh and discharging pus.  So Huang Qi + Ren Shen can tonify the qi, while Huang Qi + Gan Cao can expel the pus.  The result is healing chronic ulcers resulting from fatigue.  The following formula may be used for Behchet's syndrome:

Huang Qi, 20-30g
Ren Shen, 8-10g
Gan Cao, 4g
Jin Yin Hua, 8g
Lian Qiao, 6g

b. Post-surgical tonic: For surgical wounds that aren't healing fast enough, use Huang Qi. Again, Huang Qi has the action of generating flesh and discharging pus.  Huang Qi + Dang Gui can tonify the qi and blood to generate flesh and promote the healing process.  This is the perfect tonic to aid in recovery after surgery: 

Huang Qi, 12-20g
Dang Gui, 8-12g
Ren Shen, 4g
Gan Cao, 2g


Huang Qi tonifies the Lung.  The Lung governs Wei qi, which controls the pores, so Huang Qi can treat Spontaneous sweating disorders.  Huang Qi sweating will occur all over the whole body, often excessively, and worse after activity.  A thin, emaciated person with pale and thin skin is a good candidate for a Huang Qi patient.

CASE: A patient comes to the clinic complaining of severe fatigue and excessive sweating.  Even very simple activities like hammering a single nail cause fatigue and sweating.

Huang Qi, 12-20g
Shan Yao, 8-12g
Ren Shen, 4g
Gan Cao, 2g     


According to TCM, there are three organs involved with edema: Lung, Spleen, and Kidney.  Huang Qi edema is related to the Lung, and will occur with fatigue or be exasperated by fatigue.  This edema may manifest upon waking as swollen tongue with teeth marks and edema of the eyes or anywhere.  It also may occur after work or tiring activities as the shoes don't fit on the feet or the rings don't fit on the swollen fingers.  We call this Pi Shui ("skin water"), and in this situation Huang Qi may be selected as the king herb.

Huang Qi is effective especially when the patient's MD has ruled out kidney problems, and the use of diuretics didn't help or maybe even caused greater fatigue.  We can refer to this condition as “Functional Edema" since there are no detectible physical problems.  The condition of qi deficiency, especially when the patient is tired also, diminishes the body's ability to regulate water metabolism.  This can also occur as a result of indigestion. 

CASE: A patient complains of edema around the eyes and on arms upon waking every morning.  After the day's activities, the edema in her upper body disappears, but her legs are swollen every night.  This has been going on for quite some time.  The patient's MD could not find any kidney disorders upon testing.  She has already been to an acupuncturist for this problem, and was prescribed an herbal formula which only made her more tired.  You identify her pattern as qi deficiency and assume the previous acupuncturist gave her diuretics.  The best formula for this patient will be:

Huang Qi, 12-20g
Ren Shen, 4g
Gui Zhi, 3g
Chen Pi, 3g
With Stomach disorder:  + Bai Zhu 6g, Fu Ling 6g


Constant sleepiness or drowsiness can be caused by qi deficiency, or chronic qi stagnation as a result of chronic qi deficiency.  This patient always wants to lie down to rest.

CASE: A patient complains of fatigue.  He sleeps regularly at night, but he is sleepy all day long, and he even stays in bed all day every Sunday.  He never feels rested and refreshed, and mentions a heavy feeling in his head.

Huang Qi, 12-20g
Sheng Ma, 4g
Shi Chang Pu, 3-4g
Bo He, 3-4g


TONGUE:  The Huang Qi tongue will have teeth marks and a thin, white coating.  Qi deficiency alone will create a pale or slightly pale tongue with teeth marks, but qi deficiency with damp-phlegm can cause a white coating.  So the signs of teeth marks plus white coating signify qi deficiency with damp-phlegm, which  Huang Qi + Bai Zhu + Fu Ling can treat.   

PULSE: The Huang Qi pulse is weak, of course, because of qi deficiency.  It may be forceless, thready, deep, or even scarcely perceptible.

DOSAGE: When used as the king herb, the dosage of Huang Qi is 12-20 grams.  The dosage should be adjusted to reflect the degree of qi deficiency.  For Behchet's syndrome, up to 30 grams may be used.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 08:51:43 AM by HB Kim »