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Astragalus max. dosage questions


Senior Member

I started my third week trial with Astragalus (US made Newton Everett brand 250 mg extract from 1000 mg root Astragalus membranaceus). Increased my dose in 1 softgel per week, from 1 to 3 currently splitted in 2 in AM and 1 in PM.

Took it along with several other supplements, Selenium among others.

My symptoms after 2 or 3 days include flu-like symptoms, severe fatigue and increased pain, lasting 2 to 3 days. When increasing to 3 softgels, an additional symptom appeared: a general feeling of toxicity or burning from behind my eyes, my head, inside my mouth organs, muscles and in the place of liver, spleen and kidneys. In a word, I feel toxic.

My questions are:

1. Can anyone please indicate the exact mg of Astragalus & Selenium included in Equilibrant? I started my trial in order to test whether I am a good candidate for Equilibrant, and don't want to overdue in this trial and thereafter reduce my response to treatment with Equilibrant.

2. In any case, which is the max. daily dose of Astragalus one can intake in order to avoid toxicity?

3. Could anyone explain the likely cause of my feeling of toxicity? (Overstimulated Citokines or TH2 overstimulation maybe?)

4. What test is useful for monitoring risks/progresses with Astrgalus?

Last edited:


Senior Member
I am no expert but have personal experience with both equilibrant and astragalus. When equilibrant gave me a lot of side effects I switched to the other ingredients in it- minus the shrubby sephora. At the time I had horrible viral symptoms- sore throat, low grade fever, itchy rash on hands and feet, malaise, nausea, minor respiratory tract infections- I was a mess.

Astragalus gave me a minor boost of energy, helped me sweat and fight the virus, but not as good as equlibrant. It also helped me stay awake. I was taking the herb capsule, NOT the extract. After I ran out of the whole herb I tried the extract- it was way too strong. Gave me insomnia and panic attacks. So I went back to the whole herb.

I don't think there is a max dose- I know in China they used to eat it as a food but in my own experience the longer I take it the worse the side effects.

Astragalus boosts Th1 and for me, anything that boosts Th1 whether it is licorice or shrubby sephora can send me into autoimmune responses. My theory is that Th1 modulators stimulate an already overworked immune system too far in a good direction, causing different symptoms for different people- some of them herx- which can be a good thing in small amounts but in large amounts it can be toxic.

In my experience and from what I have read on this site, all immune modulators like astragalus need to be approached experimentally with each person because everyone reacts different and the body will react differently at different times depending on how stimulated immune system already is, how active the virus is, if the virus itself is generating an autoimmune response, if the person is susceptible to autoimmune responses, etc.

I think one thing one has to keep in mind when taking astragalus, (and esp. with equilibrant!) is that for acute viral symptoms to go away, it takes a LONG time. Much patience is necessary (if the CFS is caused by an enterovirus). It can take weeks or a couple of months, at least! And taking a lot of an immune modulator may make one feel good at first, but too much can give one a reaction that could cause them not to be able to take it again.

I used to think every time I herxed I was one step closer to getting better- but it wasn't the case. It just took time. Herxing too much actually slowed down my recovery time. (By herxing I mean a surge of flu symptoms as the herb stimulates the immune system to fight).

In a normal flu, herxing is good- the fever breaks and within days one is back to normal. With CFS/ME its not the case. Herxing can wear one down, cause scarring that can impede healing if autoimmune response is stimulated in GI. Herxing is inflammation, inflammation=scarring, scarring in GI can impede what normal immune response to virus we have.

So I only take these immune modulators when my viral symptoms are severe, and only for a short time. When my symptoms are less acute and more chronic, I find immune modulators are actually harmful and use other methods such as a special chicken broth diet and anti-microbials such as nystatin and sugar alcohols.

Of course this is all subjective info. from my own personal experience. I am female and I think that makes me less tolerant of immune-modulators. However, without them (equilibrant and astragulus) I honestly don't know how I would have ever been able to recover from a few horrible viral attacks.

Astragalus is a powerful medicine and I hope you find the dosage and form that works best for you. God bless.


work in progress
N. California
It might be a good idea to see a TCM practitioner to inquire about this. Everybody is different, so it's hard to say how much is too much of anything for a given person.