Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) also known as milkvetch, originated in Asia. It is part of the pea family, with green pinnate leaves and lipped flowers in pink and yellow. The firm, fibrous root’s yellow core is the source of the healing herb. Known in China as huang qi, it has been used medicinally for more than 2,000 years. Western healers prescribe it to reverse the effects of aging on the immune system. As an antiviral and antibacterial agent, it is also able to ward off colds and flu, benefit the liver, lungs, and spleen, and encourage new tissue growth.