Also known as milk vetch, huang qi (or huangqi)

Safety and Potential Drug Interactions

Is astragalus safe to take with blood thinners?

Astragalus has been used for thousands of years, with few negative side effects reported. It has also been tested for DNA safety when combined with Danshen, an herbal combination used routinely in Chinese herbal medicine. Still, some herbalists advise to not take astragalus if you have a fever. 7778

Experts caution that astragalus may also cause: 

  • Diuretic and natriuretic effects 79
  • Fatigue 25
  • General discomfort 25
  • Headache 25
  • Mild stomach upset and diarrhea (at very high doses) 8

There has also been a reported case liver and kidney cysts in a woman who drank astragalus tea every day for a month. The cysts went away when she stopped taking astragalus. A year later the cysts reoccurred after she resumed taking astragalus. 80

Potential Drug Interactions

As shown in many studies, astragalus has powerful effects on the immune system. Astragalus also demonstrates activities similar to estrogen hormones. These properties may interact with immunosuppressant drugs and some cancer therapies. Additionally, astragalus has been shown in lab and animal studies to increase the effectiveness of some chemotherapy drugs on cancer cells. Always consult with your physician before taking astragalus if you have an autoimmune condition or cancer. 825, 2781

Astragalus also has properties that help regulate sugar metabolism and blood pressure. For these reasons, astragalus may increase the effects of drugs used to treat diabetes, atherosclerosis, or hypertension. 3, 825

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Salvia miltiorrhiza.78
The excretion of abnormally high levels of sodium. 79