What I made today – Astragalus 1

Today I am starting a new feature called, What I Made Today, to showcase some of the herbs I work with and talk about the process of being a Chinese herbalist.

Today I made a very cool little formula from Jeremy Ross called Astragalus 1. If you don’t know about Jeremy, he is an English human herbalist who worked with western herbs using Chinese theory and if you get a chance to take a class from him when he is visiting, go for it! He’s a great teacher and a funny guy and he is very supportive of having about half of his classes be full of holistic vets.

If I have to be truthful, what keeps me from diving into western herbs more is that I love the Chinese way of working with herbs. There is much more synergy between the herbs in Chinese medicine and it is more like making a lovely healing stew of herbs than just adding a bunch of herbs together. It is more about how they mingle with each other.

So I have started to work with some of Jeremy’s formulas and have added about thirty western herbs to my collection. Still a lot of roots like is Chinese medicine but the western herbs seem lighter to me.

Astragalus 1 is a formula for animals or people who have had recurrent infections and been on multiple antibiotics. It not only helps to fight the infection and get rid of the pathogen but it also boosts the immune system and heals and supports the gastrointestinal system. Antibiotics can cause a lot of damage to the gut especially if used long term and that can lead to not just gastrointestinal issues but also other immune system problems such as allergies, inflammation, and weakened immune function. This is also a very safe formula and can be used in cats and dogs.

So what is in this formula?

  • As you might have guessed from the name, Astragalus is the main ingredient. Astragalus’ main function is to strengthen the immune system. Being a tonic, it can also help with fatigue and mental function. Astragalus is what gives this formula its main boost.
  • Licorice is added into this formula to support the adrenal glands and sooth the digestive tract. I could write a whole article about the benefits of licorice but I’ll stop with these two main functions. In Chinese medicine licorice also helps the other herbs to work together with each other.
  • Next is the pair of Echinacea and Goldenseal. These two herbs are strongly anti-microbial. Goldenseal because of its bitter nature helps with digestion and can sooth and help heal gastrointestinal irritation. Echinachea is not only anti-microbial but also anti-viral,is an immune stimulant, and is an anti-inflammatory. I use a combination of Echinachea purpurea which works more with the immune system and Echinachea angustifolia which is more anti-inflammatory. These two herbs take the above tonics and add to them to expel pathogens and reduce inflammation that may be blocking the way.
  • To this is added the pair of Gentiana and Agrimonia which are both bitter digestive tonics and help to repair the gastrointestinal system and leaky gut.
  • Fenugreek is included in this formula for its anti-inflammatory actions and its ability to help with gut pain. It is also considered a digestive tonic and adds a little warmth to the digestion.
  • Last but not least is ginger. Ginger is a wonderful digestive tonic and soothes the gut. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It is anti-inflammatory and it helps to move the other herbs into the gastrointestinal system.

So to sum up in simple terms
Astragalus boosts the body and immune system
Echinachea and Goldenseal expel pathogens and clean up the inflammation that is blocking the way
Gentiana and Agrimonia heal the gut and use their bitter properties to stimulate digestion
Fenugreek comes in and gives digestion a warm spark to start up again
Ginger cleans up any infection that is left and continues to warm and move the gut properly
and Licorice makes everything work better together and makes sure the adrenals are functioning and the animal/person has normal energy

Cool little formula!

Look at the great yellow color when it is ground. Many yellow herbs contain berberine which is highly anti-inflammatory and helps kills bacteria and viruses. In this formula the goldenseal is which herb is berberine rich and responsible for the yellow color. In the Pacific Northwest Oregon Grape is a good and plentiful substitute. This is especially important as wild goldenseal is now under CITES regulation and has become an endangered species because of over harvest.

By the way if you want this formula you can special request it on my etsy store Kingdom of Basil.

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