Traditional Chinese Medicine uses the Astragalus root for centuries. It is a powerful adaptogenic herb which assists the immune function. Astragalus protects DNA and boost longevity. The recent research reports that Astragalus prevents the degradation of telomeres. Research found that the Astragalus possess the anticancer properties. The study which was conducted in Houston at the University of Texas Medical Center reports that the water extraction of Astragalus when taken by the people with cancer, it enhance the function of T-cells.
Health Benefits of Astragalus
The Traditional Chinese approaches use Astragalus to assist the ability of the body to adjust the environmental and biological changes. The dried roots of Astragalus are used to treat cold and flu, stress and fatigue.
1. Acts as an anti-inflammatory
Astragalus possesses the anti-inflammatory properties which reduces the illness and conditions. It also assists to heal the wounds and lesions to reduce the inflammation in diabetic kidney disease.
2. Promotes Immune Cells against Aging
The activity and production of telomerase is increased by TAT2 which enhances the repair of telomeres on DNA. Short telomere indicates the older damaged cells. These protect the cells damage, wear and tear process related with aging. Astragalus makes the skin tight and also eliminates blemishes.
3. Supports toxin removal
Research found that the Astragalus extract prevents the liver from the cellular dysfunction and liver fibrosis. This assists to support the normal function of liver and lowers the toxic overload effects.
4. Protective Effects for Kidney health
Astragalus assists to maintain the kidney health. Researchers have found that Astragalus prevents the kidney diseases. It eliminates the wastes and provides the younger and healthy body.
Astragalus is effective to treat the seasonal allergies. The study found that Astragalus cures the pollen allergies. It lowers the allergic reactions such as itchy eyes, runny nose and other irritating symptoms.
6. Kidney disease
The studies suggest that astragalus might prevent the kidney from diseases. But more research is still needed to be carried out.
7. Athletic performance
The research conducted on 2014 reports that Astragalus helps to enhance the athletic ability and prevents fatigue. The study which was conducted on mice showed that the muscle glycogen content was increased with the endurance capacity.
8. Hay fever
The research which was conducted on the 48 patients shows that the astragalus supplement relieves the symptoms of SAR and runny nose.
9. Wound healing
Astragalus possesses antibacterial properties which prevents the flowing of blood to the wounds. The research shows that Astragalus when applied topically speeds up the healing process of wounds in rats.
The studies have shown that the use of Astragalus controls the level of blood sugar in diabetic’s patients. Astragalus also organizes the liver enzymes which are related to insulin sensitivity.
11. Boost the immune system
Astragalus enhances the immunity which is essential for treating diseases. It increases the white blood cells production; strengthen the antiviral immunity and antibodies. The study shows that Astragalus eliminates the growth of tumor and enhances the immune system in the cancer patients. It boosts the immune system to counteract the colds and infections.
12. Slows or prevents the growth of tumors
The recent studies have shown that the use of Astragalus saponins, polysaccharides and flavonoids could eliminate the tumors.
It possesses the anti-tumor properties which treats the cancer such as melanoma and leukemia. Astragalus alleviates the growth of cancerous tumors. It prevents the proliferation of gastric cancer cells by eliminating them to receive oxygen. The article which was published in the June 2012 in “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” shows that the Astragalus is probable to develop into a chemotherapeutic agent that assists to treat the metastatic gastric cancer.
14. Chemotherapy symptoms
The extract of Astragalus reduces the symptoms of chemotherapy. The hospitals in China use Astragalus to ease the symptoms of chemotherapy treatment. Astragalus enhances the quality of life and also lowers diarrhea, nausea and vomiting which is caused by chemotherapy.
15. Protects the cardiovascular system
The antioxidant found in Astragalus prevents the formation of plaque buildup in arteries and narrows the vessel walls by preserving the inner wall of the vessel. The study which was published in 2014 in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine summarizes that the use of Astragalus injection with the conventional treatment for viral myocarditis forms an effective treatment for heart conditions. The studies have also shown that the use of Astragalus is able to lower the blood pressure and the level of triglycerides which leads to heart attack, stroke and hardening of artery walls. Astragalus eliminates the heart muscle damage balancing the calcium homeostatis in the heart. The Chinese study which was conducted in 83 patients in 2001 reports that the antioxidant properties of Astragalus eliminates the heart disease and reduces the levels of cholesterol.
16. Regulates and prevents diabetes and illnesses related to diabetes
Astragalus possesses an antidiabetic property which helps to relieve the insulin resistance and cure the diabetes of type 1 and 2. It also slows down the kidney problems in diabetic patients and preserves the renal system.
17. Contains antioxidative and anti-aging capabilities
Astragalus possesses the antioxidants which eliminates the free radical damage and oxidative stress. Polysaccharide provides the positive effects on the immune system and enhances the brain function which improves the life span.
18. Reduce stress
Chronic stress and high anxiety could be reduced by promoting the calm and peace. It balances the hormonal levels and cures mood swings and fix nervous tension.
19. Sleep issues
Astragalus root extract could treat the sleeplessness, insomnia and interrupted sleep patterns by enhancing metabolic efficiency with overall health and also balance hormones.
It slows down the aging process of the face, enhances the regrowth of tissue, prevents the chronic illness and eliminates the free radicals. It reduces the blemishes, age spots and wrinkles.
21. Heals wounds
The anti-inflammatory property found in Astragalus helps to treat wounds. Astragalus has the anti-scarring and healing properties.
22. Alleviates symptom of Chemotherapy
Astragalus recovers the life spans of the patients receiving chemotherapy. Astragalus if used with the combination of Chinese Herbal mixtures treats the chemotherapy symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, bone marrow suppression and diarrhea. It reduces the symptoms and increases the efficacy of chemotherapy treatments.
23. Treats cold and flu
Astragalus possesses the antiviral property which helps to treat the flu and common colds. It is used by combining with angelica, ginseng and licorice. It prevents the illness before it occurs.
24. Provides supplemental therapy for chronic asthma
Astragalus treats the asthma effectively. It also reduces the mucous production and inflammation. It also prevents the chronic asthma issues.
Heath benefits of Using Astragalus during Pregnancy
Astragalus is the herb that enhances the healthy gestation phase. Let’s talk about the health benefits of Astragalus during pregnancy:
1. Minimizes fatigue and Re-energizes
As the body utilizes energy, one might experience weakness and fatigue. Astragalus assists to restore the level of energy. It enhances the stamina and eliminates fatigue during pregnancy.
2. Strengthens immunity
Astragalus boosts and vitalizes immunity during the delicate phase of pregnancy. It alleviates the gestational diabetes, microbial infections and other ailments.
3. Promotes smooth functioning of liver
During pregnancy, a hormone generates more hormones than during normal period. Astragalus enhances the liver function. It also repairs the damage of liver.
4. Lowers Pre-Eclampsia risk
Astragalus prevents the risk of pre-eclampsia, obesity, autoimmune disease, sickle, PCOS, sickle cell disease or hypertension. This herb could be combined with liver protectors such as dandelion and milk thistle.
5. Treats flatulence and constipation
The increase in progesterone reduces the digestion process and results to flatulence. Astragalus relieves the problem of gas, flatulence and constipation. The pregnant women who suffer from constipation should use Astragalus to alleviate constipation.
6. Remedy for allergies in pregnancy
Certain allergies might be experienced during pregnancy. So Astragalus should be used to relieve the several allergy symptoms.
7. Cures bladder infection and kidney stones
Astragalus cures the infection of urinary bladder and also prevents the kidney stones during pregnancy. It enhances the smooth functioning of the liver.
Medicinal uses and indications
- Adaptogen- It provides protection from the disease and stress.
- Anemia- Astragalus enhances the blood counts in the people with aplastic anemia.
- Colds and influenza- Astragalus is used to prevent the colds. It also treats viruses.
- Diabetes- Astragalus reduces the blood sugar. It also cures diabetes.
- Fatigue or lack of appetite from chemotherapy- The use of Astragalus lowers the side effects of chemotherapy. More research is still needed on this subject matter.
- Heart disease- The studies reports that the Astragalus possesses the antioxidant which helps to treat heart disease.
- Hepatitis- Few studies have found that Astragalus helps to treat kidney disease.
- Seasonal allergies- Those who have allergic rhinitis or hayfever, their symptoms was reduced with the use of Astragalus.
- Cancer- Astragalus possesses anti-tumor properties which is effective against leukemia and melanoma.
The Astragalus root is found in various forms:
- Tincture (Liquid alcohol extract)
- Capsules and tablets, standardized and non-standardized
- Injectable forms for use in hospital or clinical settings in Asian countries
- Topically for the skin
How to take it
One should consult the doctor before using the Astragalus to the children. According to TCM, one should not give Astragalus to the child who has fever because this leads to last the fever for a long time. The proper dosage should be determined by the doctor.
According to the weight, age, and the condition being treated the dosage depends on that. The physician should be consulted to find out the safe and effective dosage. The excessive dosage of astragalus restrains the immune system. The standardized astragalus supplement should be used to find Astragalus suppress the immune system. The dosage depends on either the Astragalus is used as an adaptogen or other reasons.
Possible side effects and cautions of Astragalus
The side effects of Astragalus are still not known. The pregnant women and nursing women should not use Astragalus because it is not safe for them to use. The autoimmune patients should consult the doctor before using Astragalus because it has ability to trigger immune system. Astragalus could be sensitive to the problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other immune system conditions.
If any medication is being followed then one should consult the doctor to use Astragalus with it. Astragalus might interfere with the drug that restrains the immune system. Astragalus should not be used if one has an autoimmune disease such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis and is taking cyclophosphamide. Astragalus can make tough to eliminate lithium so dangerous drug in high levels could build up.
Side effects of using Astragalus during pregnancy
Astragalus has some side effects which are listed below:
Birth Defects and Malformations
Astragalus can cause the fetal malformations and birth defects such as heart defect in the fetus. During pregnancy, the use of locoweed should be avoided.
The use of locoweed during pregnancy should be avoided because it might result to miscarriage or abortion. The other side effects are hives, swelling of face, breathing difficulties, uneasiness in the chest, digestive discomfort, nausea and rash.
The dried Astragalus root is found at some health food stores or Chinese groceries. It is also available in the form of liquid, tablet or capsule form and also in the form of tea bags.