Adaptogen Spotlight: The Most Powerful Energy Tonic in the World?

Huáng Qí Root

Lately, you’ve probably been hearing more and more about adaptogens and all of their superpowers. Thank goodness Western health and beauty practices have been adopting a more holistic and preventative approach! Adaptogens are edible herbs that reduce the effects of physical, emotional, and environmental stress — mainly via the endocrine and nervous systems.

Huáng Qí (English: Astragalus Root, milk-vetch root) is a powerful adaptogen and qi tonic that’s native to Korea, Mongolia, and China. Its benefits are becoming so well known that I was able to buy the raw herb in the bulk section at my local health foods store [insert dancer emoji here]!

For thousands of years, East Asian medicine has been prescribing herbs to help adjust imbalances within our bodies to promote ongoing health, rather than simply reacting when we become sick.  

Huáng Qí a.k.a. Astragalus

Why is it so popular?

Huáng Qí strengthens and protects your skin, metabolism, immune response, energy levels, and generally enhances whole body function. It’s most commonly used to balance your skin and digestive systems.

It’s also touted as one of the most potent ‘Qí’ or energy tonics, right up there with Ginseng. In traditional East Asian medicine, it is considered slightly warm, lifting, and energizing. When taken internally it acts as a mild diuretic, promotes the discharge of pus. When applied topically, it stimulates skin renewal and healing, like in this Mee Ra Rituals Hydrating Emulsion Spray.



From a Western perspective, Huáng Qí is an antioxidant and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Recent studies have shown it to have antiviral properties, potentially stimulating the immune system and helping prevent colds.  

How to prepare it:

Huáng Qí is effective when taken internally and applied externally. When preparing it as a tea or topically to your skin, boil three to six grams of the dried root per 12 ounces of water. The recommended dose is 9-15 grams, but you should always work with your physician to determine the safest and most effective dosage for you.

Do not take Huáng Qí if you have an autoimmune disorder, are taking drugs that suppress the immune system, or if you are taking Lithium.  

Disclaimer Reminder: We are not medical doctors and none of the info published on UWM is intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
This info is for educational purposes only. Before trying an herb or any health-related program, always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

Anna Mee Ra is the founder of Mee Ra Rituals, a skincare line that combines her obsession with Korean beauty, East Asian medicine, and Western skincare. It’s mostly an excuse to indulge in her perfectionism about only putting effective, non-toxic things on her skin. She has way too many degrees, including a Masters of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine. She sees patients in sunny La Jolla, California. You can follow her exploits and talk to her about skincare on Instagram or Facebook

5 Comments Add yours

  1. CM says:

    I have an underactive thyroid, treated with prescription (synthroid). Would this be considered an autoimmune disorder that would prevent me from taking this supplement safely?


    1. Kathleen says:

      CM, as far as I can tell by my research, hypothyroidism is only considered an autoimmune disease if it’s Hashimoto’s. I have panhypopituitarism from a brain tumor I had at age 16, so for me it wouldn’t be autoimmune. I’d check with your doctor first just to be safe.


      1. CM says:

        Thank you, Kathleen, for sharing the additional information. I believe Hashimoto’s Disease was the original diagnosis for my thyroid condition, when it was hyperactive. It’s flipped to hypo a couple of years later and has been completely under control with current med for many years now, so not really discussed much. I guess it’s time for a conversation & I’ll bring this article along!


  2. You’ve convinced me….I was thinking about adding astragalus back into my adaptogen mix and now I’m going to do it for sure. Thanks!


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